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S. Korea, U.S. discuss food and vaccine assistance to N. Korea

S. Korea, U.S. discuss food and vaccine assistance to N. Korea

Posted August. 07, 2021 07:19,   

Updated August. 07, 2021 07:19


South Korea and the United States held a directorial meeting to discuss assistance initiatives to provide food and vaccines to North Korea. The U.S. government still showed a negative response to the lessening of sanctions on Pyongyang.

In a foreign affairs meeting between South Korean and U.S. directors held in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday (local time), the two nations put humanitarian aid to North Korea on the agenda to exchange opinions on food and vaccination, according to a source at the South Korean government. Reportedly, Washington welcomed the restoration of inter-Korean communication channels and promised to have a review of food and vaccination aid requested by Seoul, expressing positive reaction. They agreed to specify what is to be provided to Pyongyang such as medicines and medical equipment.

The South Korean government plans to open up the door to inter-Korean cooperation as a follow-up to the restored communication channels based on humanitarian assistance to Pyongyang. “We consider that Washington finds it easier to reach agreement on humanitarian aid to Pyongyang than on any other issue,” said a South Korean high-ranking official.

Washington said in the meeting that it is considering getting communication channels back to normal to facilitate dialogue with Pyongyang. However, it reportedly thinks that it is too early to consider any full-scale incentives as for the easing of North Korea sanctions.

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com