SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) -- A U.N. Security Council panel approved sanctions exemptions on a total of 30 cases last year to aid agencies providing humanitarian assistance to North Korea, a recent report showed.
According to the annual report by the North Korea sanctions committee released on its website, 30 aid exemption requests from member states, U.N. entities and other international organizations were approved by the panel from Jan. 1-Dec. 31 in 2020.
The report did not identify which countries and organizations received the exemptions.
The committee sent "251 communications to 72 countries and other stakeholders" with regards to the sanctions measures, the report said.
It also received 551 reports on the implementation of sanctions from member states, including 63 reports on the repatriation of North Koreans working abroad.
Under a U.N. Security Council resolution, all U.N. member states were required to send back North Korean workers by Dec. 22, 2019.
No entries were added to or removed from the sanctions list during the period, which includes a total of 80 individuals and 75 entities.
The committee is also expediting the exemption process in consideration of the coronavirus pandemic, it added.
"In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee developed a practice of considering pandemic-related humanitarian exemption requests, as well as requests for time extensions to exemption periods, under expedited no-objection procedures," the panel said.
In late November, the committee approved a proposal to extend the exemption period for sanctions on humanitarian assistance to North Korea and streamline humanitarian assistance specifically related to tackling global pandemics, including COVID-19.
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