Amid ongoing ROK-U.S. joint military drills, Sung Kim, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, discussed possible humanitarian aid to North Korea with the South Korean government during his four-day visit to South Korea. Kim said the joint military drills are routine and defensive in nature, stressing that the U.S. does not have hostile intent toward North Korea. In particular, South Korea and the U.S. announced that health, quarantine against infectious diseases, and safe drinking water are the areas of humanitarian aid to the North, drawing attention to the North’s response.
“This is an important moment on the Korean Peninsula,” Special Representative Kim said during talks with his South Korean counterpart Noh Kyu-duk on Monday. Kim reaffirmed his willingness to talk with North Korea without preconditions, saying he is ready to meet with North Korea anytime, anywhere.
The two sides discussed measures for humanitarian aid to North Korea as inducements to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table. “We discussed ways to support humanitarian aid to North Korea through international organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGO),” Noh said. “We discussed possible humanitarian assistance to the DPRK. I reaffirmed U.S. support for inter-Korean dialogue and engagement as stipulated by the joint statement between our two leaders in May,” Kim said.
After meeting with South Korean Vice Unification Minister Choi Young-jun on Monday, Special Representative Kim met with officials from NGO related to inter-Korean cooperation. Kim is said to have listened to opinions on humanitarian assistance to North Korea.
Ji-Sun Choi email@example.com