Posted May. 18, 2010 04:42,
The Unification Ministry said Monday that it has asked ministries to suspend aid to North Korea requiring government budget.
The ministry had issued recommendations to delay the signing of new contracts and the shipment of materials to the North to companies involved in inter-Korean cooperation.
Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said, We sent official letters to 10 related ministries, including the Strategy and Finance Ministry, the Health and Welfare Ministry, and the Korea Forestry Service Friday asking for the temporary suspension of assistance projects for North Korea run by those ministries.
This measure has been taken in light of the Norths seizure of South Korean real estate in the Mount Kumgang area and the grave nature of inter-Korean relations of late.
Seoul has also begun efforts to survey inter-Korean projects conducted by the 10 ministries. Last year, the ministries ran a budget of six billion won (5.2 million U.S. dollars) to assist the North.
The Unification Ministry also contacted companies involved in inter-Korean cooperation, excluding those operating at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, to refrain from making new contracts, investment and visits Tuesday and Wednesday last week.
With analysts saying Seoul has taken a series of measures in the wake of the Cheonan sinking, a Unification Ministry source said, Since the situation in inter-Korean relations has gotten grave and highly treacherous, we informed related ministries as a preemptive measure to reduce risks.
Unification Minister Hyun In-taek also told reporters Monday, We can hardly say that weve taken any practical countermeasures.