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S. Korea OKs additional civilian exchanges with N. Korea

All Headlines 11:11 June 02, 2017

SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's government on Friday approved an additional eight requests by local aid providers and religious groups to have contact with North Koreans over inter-Korean exchanges.

The Ministry of Unification said that it gave the green light to plans by two humanitarian aid providers and six religious groups to come in contact with North Korea as the government decided to revive civilian exchanges with the North.

"The approval came as the government will flexibly review civilian exchanges between the two Koreas to an extent that the move would not hamper the international sanctions regime," Lee Eugene, vice spokesperson at the ministry, told a regular press briefing.

The government did not reveal the details about the groups applying for approval.

The move followed the ministry's first approval on May 26 for a bid by the Korean Sharing Movement to contact North Koreans since the inauguration of the Moon Jae-in administration in May.

The civic group is seeking to send Malaria-fighting materials to North Korea in areas bordering the two Koreas.

The ministry also granted a local group contact with North Koreans for a joint inter-Korean summit anniversary event slated for this month.

The nongovernment group is hoping to visit North Korea to prepare for a joint event to mark the first inter-Korean summit on June 15, 2000.

But the ministry cast a prudent stance over whether it will approve the group's visit, saying that it will take into account the event's purpose and other details first.

S. Korea OKs additional civilian exchanges with N. Korea - 1

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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