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U.S. Treasury allows coronavirus-related assistance to N. Korea

All News 10:45 April 17, 2020

SEOUL, April 17 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. Treasury Department said it has allowed nongovernmental organizations to provide coronavirus-related humanitarian assistance to North Korea, including testing kits and respiratory devices.

The department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) laid out on its website Thursday (local time) the items that have received sanctions exemptions to provide to countries like North Korea and Iran in their fight against the coronavirus.

The department said it restricts North Korea from getting access to the international financial system but allows NGOs to do certain humanitarian activities for the North.

Such humanitarian activities include providing coronavirus-related items to North Koreans, such as "testing kits, respiratory devices, personal protective equipment, and medicine used in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from COVID-19," it said.

OFAC also said it authorizes the provision of emergency medical services to North Korea and noncommercial remittances that are below US$5,000 a year.

The department also allows its NGOs to export or reexport supplies for humanitarian purposes to the North, including food and medicine, and other assistance to provide clean water and health-related services.


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