SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean diplomat in charge of Middle East affairs has left for the United States for talks on Seoul's efforts to export humanitarian goods to Iran without violating anti-Tehran sanctions, the foreign ministry said Thursday.
Hong Jin-wook, the ministry's director-general for Africa and Middle East affairs, departed for the U.S. on Wednesday and is expected to meet officials from the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury Department.
Hong is likely to propose exporting humanitarian products to Iran through a mechanism similar to the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement, which is a payment method designed to facilitate Swiss companies' sales of food and medicine to the Islamic republic.
The U.S. decided in April last year to end sanctions waivers for imports of Iranian oil by South Korea and other countries.
Since then, South Korean companies have faced difficulties in selling medicine and other humanitarian products to Iran through a bilateral transaction system using the Korean currency, the won.
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