SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul city government has become the first local government in South Korea to win the right to independently carry out humanitarian aid projects for North Korea, a unification ministry official said Tuesday.
Last month, the government revised related regulations to allow local governments to act as independent aid providers to the North. Previously, they had to join hands with private entities to engage in humanitarian activities for the North.
On Tuesday, the ministry said it has approved the Seoul city's request to carry out aid projects.
"The ministry concluded that the Seoul city government met specific requirements, such as maintaining stable relations with the North and securing transparency in distributing the humanitarian aid materials, to become an operator for humanitarian aid to North Korea," the official said.
It is unclear, however, when the actual humanitarian aid activities will take place amid chilled relations between the two Koreas.
In June, South Korea announced its plan to provide 50,000 tons of rice to the North via the World Food Programme to help Pyongyang address its chronic food shortages, but the North has refused to accept it.
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