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U.N. grants sanctions exemptions for humanitarian aid to N. Korea

All Headlines 10:34 January 23, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) -- The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has granted sanctions exemptions to four humanitarian organizations for relief activities in North Korea, its website showed Wednesday.

A U.N. committee handling sanctions on North Korea approved the waiver requests from the organizations -- the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF), Eugene Bell Foundation, Christian Friends of Korea, and the Canadian NGO First Steps Health Society -- on Friday, according to its website.

The exemptions allow shipments of items to North Korea for the groups' humanitarian programs, including those to combat tuberculosis and malaria in the impoverished country, according to the website.

The list of items approved for UNICEF's shipment to North Korea includes computers and televisions for hospital use, as well as nine ambulances worth US$205,740. The total items are worth some $520,000.

Items approved for the Eugene Bell Foundation include microphones and loudspeakers.

Detailed lists of items allowed for Christian Friends of Korea and First Steps Health Society were not immediately available.

The latest series of approvals raised the total number of humanitarian exemptions related to North Korea in effect to six. The exemptions are valid for six months.

Humanitarian activities are not banned under international sanctions, but related materials are subject to sanctions waivers from the U.N.

Aid organizations have said that multilayered sanctions imposed on North Korea for its nuclear provocations are affecting their operations through a disruption of banking channels, a breakdown in supply chains and delays in the transportation of goods.

U.N. grants sanctions exemptions for humanitarian aid to N. Korea - 1

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