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S. Korea mulls support for N. Korea's fight against swine fever via int'l agencies

All News 11:23 December 13, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is considering providing support for North Korea's efforts to contain the spread of African swine fever through international agencies, government sources said Friday.

North Korea has stayed mum on Seoul's repeated offers for cooperation in stemming the spread of the fatal animal disease since it reported its outbreak in late May.

South Korea has also confirmed many cases since September. Though its spread appears to be slowing down, cases of wild boars found with traces of the virus continue to be reported along the inter-Korean border.

The unification ministry handling inter-Korean affairs has begun internal administrative preparations to provide support for North Korea in fighting the disease via international agencies or nongovernmental organizations, according to the sources.

They said that a consultative meeting made up of government and civilian experts on inter-Korean cooperation will be held as early as next week to approve the plan. Other details were not available such as the scale of the envisioned support.

A ministry official said that nothing has been finalized with regard to the support plan but noted that the government is making efforts to step up cooperation with international agencies in fighting contagious diseases.

"The ministry has on many occasions mentioned its stance to cooperate with international agencies and NGOs in combating contagious diseases," deputy ministry spokesperson Kim Eun-han told reporters during a regular press briefing on Friday. "(The ministry) is reviewing diverse measures to that end."

S. Korea mulls support for N. Korea's fight against swine fever via int'l agencies - 1

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