Moon to go ahead with US$8 million aid to North Korea
Humanitarian aid is separate, gov’t says, though allies disagree
Korea JoongAng Daily reports that South Korea’s government will give North Korea US$8 million worth of aid through two international organizations under the UN, as President Moon Jae-in continues to distinguish between humanitarian assistance and political and military affairs in his dealings with the Kim Jong-un regime.
The newspaper says a specific timeline wasn’t given. South Korea’s overseeing Ministry of Unification said details of the plan, including when and how the donations will actually be carried out, will be decided “with consideration of South-North relations.” No other details were given. That could mean the aid might not arrive in North Korea this year, according to senior ministry officials.
The Unification Ministry said Seoul consulted with neighboring countries about the aid, but the US and Japanese reaction wasn’t reported.
Tokyo previously had openly rejected the idea, saying now is not the time for dialogue with North Korea or aid donations. It also said that the world needed to be on the same page in pressuring Pyongyang with sanctions.
Washington has not directly mentioned the aid plan, though Trump disparaged Moon’s “appeasement” of North Korea on Twitter earlier this month.