South Korea offers $13.3m for UN aid projects in North Korea

SEOUL - South Korea said on Monday it would provide $13.3 million in funding for UN humanitarian projects in North Korea - its second indirect aid package for the North in a month.

Seoul's Unification Ministry seven million dollars would go to World Food Programme (WFP) projects in the North, and $6.3 million to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The decision came a month after the ministry approved $2.9-million in financial support for Seoul civic groups providing assistance to North Korea. It was the first time that Seoul had funded such civic projects in four years, after the government imposed tough economic sanctions on Pyongyang.

The South cut off most trade with and aid to the North in 2010 after the sinking of the naval corvette Cheonan with the loss of 46 lives. Seoul accused Pyongyang of torpedoing the ship, although the North has always angrily denied involvement. Cross-border ties have remained largely icy for years since then, but Seoul has occasionally offered funds for UN projects in the North on humanitarian grounds.

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Aaj Kal