South Korea donated $13 million to WHO in 2009 to help the organization distribute medical aid in North Korea. But it asked the organization to stop using its money for the program following the March 2010 attack on a South Korean warship, which Seoul claimed was led by North Korea.
With South Korea’s agreement to continue the program, WHO is expected to be able to distribute up to $6.7 million worth of medical aid in North Korea.
A senior official of the South Korean Unification Ministry explained the decision to resume the program “was based upon our belief that purely humanitarian support for the young and vulnerable in North Korea should continue,” The New York Times reports.
Some observers have noted the decision could be a sign of easing tensions between South Korea and North Korea, but the former’s unification ministry said Seoul has no plans of resuming direct aid to its neighbor, CNN notes.
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