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S. Korea notifies U.S., Japan of its aid plan to N.K. before ICBM test: sources

2017/12/01 11:23

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SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea notified the United States and Japan of its plan to offer US$8 million in aid to North Korea this year before the North fired a long-range missile earlier this week, sources said Friday.

The government delivered to Washington and Tokyo its stance to implement its plan to provide humanitarian assistance to North Korean infants and pregnant women through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program (WFP), according to the sources.

In September, Seoul approved its aid plan, but it has said that the government will take into consideration various factors, including inter-Korean ties, to implement its aid plan at an appropriate time.

Seoul's unification ministry said that it is in talks with the U.N. agencies over details over the aid provision.

"There is no change in the government's stance that the supply of humanitarian aid should be handled separately from political situations. But Seoul will decide on the timing of the actual provision after taking various factors into account," Lee Eugene, vice spokesperson at the ministry, told a press briefing.

North Korea fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which it claims is capable of carrying a "super-large heavy warhead" and putting the whole mainland of the U.S. within its range.

Public opinion over the aid is divided amid concerns that the move may compromise international efforts to pressure Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile programs.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr

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