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Seoul renews plan to help North Korea's vulnerable

21 September 2017

"I hope that North Korea will also participate, which will provide a very good opportunity for inter-Korean peace and reconciliation", added Moon.

Meeting separately with his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, Wang reiterated a call for South Korea to remove the US -built THAAD anti-missile system, which China says is a threat to its own security.

The decision to send aid to North Korea was not popular in South Korea, hitting President Moon Jae-in's approval rating.

South Korea's Unification Ministry said Thursday it will provide the North with humanitarian aid worth $8 million, which is the first such action under the new administration.

After a meeting between ministries and civilian experts, the government chose to support programs by the United Nations Children's Fund and the U.N. World Food Program for providing food and medicines to North Korean children and pregnant women, the Unification Ministry said.

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The United States and South Korea, and separately Russian Federation together with China, started military drills on Wednesday in a show of force against North Korea, which has repeatedly defied the United Nations to conduct nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

The Ministry of Unification said that a committee chaired by Minister Cho Myoung-gyon approved a plan to offer $3.5 million to UNICEF and $4.5 million to the World Food Program.

"Today, we estimate that about 200,000 children are affected by acute malnutrition, heightening their risk of death and increasing rates of stunting", Hulshof said.

"Food and essential medicines and equipment to treat young children are in short supply", she said.

He said the North Korean nuclear issues need to be "managed stably" to prevent a spike in tensions and military clashes. "It is not an easy way, but one South Korea must take", he said.

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Son Kum-ju, a lawmaker and spokesman of the opposition People's Party, said the decision to resume aid was badly timed because it risks sending mixed signals to the global community that's trying to tighten the screws on Pyongyang.

China's foreign ministry said on Wednesday UN resolutions are clear that the Korean peninsula issue should be resolved through peaceful and diplomatic means, after US President Donald Trump warned he would "totally destroy" North Korea if threatened.

"The WFP and other United Nations agencies have outlined clear humanitarian needs and distribute aid in a way which is generally well-monitored", Haggard said.

Regional tensions have risen since the reclusive North conducted its sixth, and by far its most powerful, nuclear test on September 3, along with a series of missile launches, including two that flew over Japan.

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Seoul renews plan to help North Korea's vulnerable