World

Finance Minister Briefs Moody's on Seoul's N. Korea Measures

Finance Minister Briefs Moody's on Seoul's N. Korea Measures

The inter-Korean exchange and cooperation committee was chaired by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon to approve the provision of 8 million dollars to the projects of the World Food Program (WFP) and the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for infants and pregnant women in the DPRK.

The report comes just a day after President Trump slammed countries who traded with North Korea in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

The South said it aims to send $4.5 million worth of nutritional products for children and pregnant women through the World Food Program and $3.5 million worth of vaccines and medicinal treatments through UNICEF.

The WFP and UNICEF had approached the South Korean government in May and July this year to contribute in aiding North Korea, the statement added.

The MOU said the aid was approved based on the government's position that "humanitarian aid is continuously pursued as being separated from political situations to improve humanitarian situation and quality of life of North Korean people".

Hulshof said around 200,000 children are suffered from "acute malnutrition, heightening their risk of death and increasing rates of stunting", and that around 350,000 children under five remain unvaccinated against life-threatening diseases.




Cho's ministry had said earlier this month they were looking into giving North Korea aid, which launched a backlash of disapproval from both the public and opposition parties.

The conservative former South Korean president asked former President Barack Obama about reintroducing tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea, but the latter rejected the South's request. Fitch has maintained an "AA-" rating, its fourth-highest, for South Korea since June 2012.

It is the first humanitarian assistance by Seoul under the Moon Jae-in administration, which took office in May.

But after the North conducted its second nuclear experiment in 2009, the conservative Lee Myung-bak administration cut off all humanitarian aid the next year, and the conservative Park Geun-hye administration cut off all aid after the fourth experiment in January 2016. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe raised questions about the aid plan in a phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on September 15 after a North Korean missile flew over northern Japan.

Such provocations have sparked strong disapproval from the global community, especially from the United States and Japan.


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