SEOUL, July 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has allowed local aid groups to go ahead with 16 assistance projects for North Korea in the first half of this year, a unification ministry official said Thursday.
"The total number of cases granted approval for humanitarian aid to North Korea until June this year is 16. Two of the cases are coronavirus-related items," the official told reporters.
The official did not provide further details on the number of organizations and their identities.
He also declined to comment on whether or not any aid groups received approval after North Korea blew up an inter-Korean joint liaison office in June in its border city of Kaesong in anger over leaflets criticizing its leader Kim Jong-un.
"We cannot release the details including the type of aid and delivery date, as the aid organizations have requested confidentiality and considering other factors," the official said.
In April, the ministry granted approval for local nonprofit organizations to provide 100 million won worth of hand sanitizers and 20,000 items of protective clothing worth around 200 million won (US$162,000) to support Pyongyang's anti-coronavirus efforts.
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