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S. Korean aid providers offer assistance to N.K. flood damage

All Headlines 14:57 October 12, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- A group of South Korean private aid providers said Wednesday it has provided North Korea with US$187,000 through the Red Cross to help it fight the latest floods in the country's northeast area.

The Korea NGO Council for Cooperation with North Korea (KNCCK) said it has sent the first batch of $100,000 to North Korea with the plan to send the remainder by next Tuesday in accordance with its agreement with the Red Cross.

"The money will be used to help displaced North Koreans in North Hamgyong Province as relief aid," the KNCCK said in a statement.

Heavy rains hit North Korea's northeast area at the end of August, leaving more than 130 North Koreans dead and about 400 missing, according to the Red Cross.

But the government voiced opposition to the aid providers' move, citing North Korea's provocative acts.

"It is not appropriate for some civic groups to extend aid to North Korea, given that Pyongyang conducted nuclear and missile tests even after the floods hit the country," an official at Seoul's unification ministry said.

North Korea said last week that the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the U.N. International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) had decided to supply emergency aid to North Korea over flood damage.

South Korea earlier said that it will not provide aid to North Korea over the flooding amid heightened tensions following Pyongyang's nuclear test in early September.

Seoul condemned North Korea for pouring money into its nuclear program while neglecting the suffering of its people in the flood-hit areas.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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