S Korea OKs civilian flour aid to DPRK

16:49, July 25, 2011      

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South Korea approved flour aid by local civic groups to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ( DPRK), the Unification Ministry said here Monday.

The South Korean government allowed shipments of flour by Seoul- based Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation (KCRC), a pro-unification organization composed of some 200 progressive civic and religious groups, and a group of Roman Catholics.

The aid will be delivered to nurseries, kindergartens and hospitals in Sariwon City and Kangnam-gun County in North Hwanghae Province, south of Pyongyang, according to the Unification Ministry.

South Korea had virtually suspended aid to its northern neighbor following two deadly incidents last year that altogether killed 50 South Koreans, though the DPRK denies its responsibility or refuses to apologize for any of the incidents.

The shelling last November was defended by Pyongyang, which claimed it was provoked by military drills between Seoul and Washington near a disputed western sea border.

The government approval was granted in consideration of guarantees of transparency in aid distribution, and is in line with its stance that only humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable will be permitted, according to the Unification Ministry.

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