SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has approved an aid organization's plan to send protective clothing to North Korea to help it stave off the new coronavirus, the unification ministry said Friday.
The approval was granted on Aug. 12, allowing the civilian aid organization to send coronavirus-related items, including protective clothing worth around 180 million won (US$151,000).
"The approved items are not subject to U.N. sanctions," Cho Hey-sil, the ministry's deputy spokesperson, said at a regular press briefing.
Earlier, the ministry also approved an aid group's plan to send coronavirus items, such as masks worth around 300 million won (US$253,000).
Cho did not provide further details on the identities of the organizations.
North Korea claims to have no coronavirus infections, but outside observers say the North might be hiding an outbreak and is in dire need of outside help to stem the spread of COVID-19.
It is unclear whether the North will accept aid from such civilian organizations amid chilly inter-Korean relations.
Cross-border exchanges have stalled since a no-deal summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump about a year ago. Pyongyang has not responded to Seoul's repeated offers for cooperation and talks.
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