South Korea's Unification Ministry announced on Thursday that the government is considering a humanitarian aid package for North Korea worth eight million U.S. dollars to be given through international organizations.
This comes just days after the UN Security Council slapped tougher sanctions on the North for its sixth nuclear test and a few weeks after the regime test-launched a couple of intermediate and long-range missiles.
"The decision to provide humanitarian aid to the North should be separate from North Korea's nuclear test and political issues. Humanitarian aid to North Korea is the Moon administration's basic stance and should be approved regardless of political considerations."
The government said it has already explained its aid plan to Washington so as not to send the wrong message to the international community, which is focused on strengthening pressure and sanctions on the regime.
The ministry says such exchanges are being considered separately from the political situation and plans to hold a meeting on inter-Korean cooperation next Thursday to finalize its decision to provide humanitarian assistance to the North.
"We will finalize our stance on the 21st at the scheduled South and North Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council. We will also discuss UNICEF food aid and requests from other UN agencies for aid to the North."
If approved, this will be the first humanitarian aid to Pyongyang from the Moon Jae-in administration and will mark a resumption of aid via the UN after a break of nearly two years.
Seoul suspended its aid to the North through UN agencies after the regime's fourth nuclear test and ICBM launch in early 2016.
This time, Seoul is planning to provide four.five million dollars to help infants and pregnant women through the World Food Program and three.five million for the UN International Children's Emergency Fund.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.