South Korean Minister renews support for Pyongyang humanitarian aid

A woman rides a bicycle as Juche Tower is seen in the background along the Taedong river in Pyongyang, North Korea

South Korean Unification Minister Lee In-young on Monday renewed his support to resume humanitarian aid to North Korea.

Lee made the remark during a meeting with the chief of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, a South Korean pro-unification civic group, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Minister said that the government agrees “in principle” to the need for the resumption of the private sector’s humanitarian assistance to North Korea, vowing to review it sufficiently and rapidly.

Lee, however, noted that there remained issues to be considered, including the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Lee Jong-joo, the Unification Ministry spokesperson, told a regular briefing that the government maintained a basic position that it is necessary to continue the humanitarian assistance in the private sector.

The comment came after Kim Yo-jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister, slammed South Korea for going ahead with its summertime joint military drills with the US.

She threatened to scrap a tension-easing military deal and also disband the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country handling cross-border affairs and dialogue, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Pyongyang has repeatedly rejected offers for help from South Korea to ease its food paucity amid tense inter-Korean relations.

Kim Jong-un had earlier urged his officials not to receive outside help on worries about the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

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