SEOUL, June 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is in discussion with a U.N. agency on its plan to provide food aid to North Korea, the unification ministry said Monday.
"Discussions are under way with the World Food Programme on the food provision issue," Lee Sang-min, the ministry's spokesperson told reporters during a regular press briefing. "It is about working-level matters."
The Seoul government has been drawing up details on its push to provide food assistance to the North since early last month, including its timing, scale and method.
North Korea has been faced with worsening food shortages apparently caused by crushing global sanctions and years of unfavorable weather conditions.
The WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization recently reported, based on a visit to North Korea, that the country's crop output last year hit the lowest level since 2008, adding that an estimated 10 million people, about 40 percent of the population, are in urgent need of food.
In a separate move, Seoul sent US$8 million last week to the WFP and the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) for their projects in North Korea to support the nutrition of children and pregnant women and address their health problems.
No live broadcast of Pyongyang match shows inter-Korean ties unlikely to improve soon
N. Korea employs high-pressure tactics in nuke talks with U.S.
Breakdown of U.S.-N.K. nuclear talks shows difficulty of bridging gap
N.K. ups ante with new rocket launch ahead of nuke talks with U.S.
U.S., N. Korea need flexibility in next working-level talks: experts