SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will try to help North Korea with recovery efforts in a flood-hit eastern province while leaving all possibilities open as to how to provide assistance, the unification ministry said Monday.
The remark came a day after North Korean state media reported that leader Kim Jong-un ordered full state support for recovery efforts in South Hamgyong Province, hit hard by recent heavy downpours, and that the country held an emergency meeting of the provincial military commission to discuss recovery plans.
On Monday, unification ministry spokesperson Lee Jong-joo said that when the North suffered damage from flooding or other disasters in the past, the South provided humanitarian assistance through various channels, including government and civilian channels as well as via international agencies.
"This time as well, it will also figure out damage in the North and its needs for support while leaving all the possibilities open, including cooperation through state and civilian channels and international organizations, and draw up concrete cooperative measures," she said.
The spokesperson reiterated that the ministry will push to share information on infectious diseases and natural disasters with North Korea via the recently-restored cross-border communication lines, though she said that no information has been exchanged on the latest flood damage in the North.
North Korea's state media earlier reported that about 1,170 homes were destroyed or flooded, and some 5,000 residents were evacuated as up to 307 millimeters of rain fell in South Hamgyong Province between Aug. 1-2.
North Korea has recently ramped up calls for flood prevention efforts not to repeat the devastation caused by back-to-back typhoons last summer in major farming areas, which aggravated the country's already serious food shortages.
S. Korea mistakenly fires machine gun near border with N. Korea
(LEAD) N. Korea rejects alleged arms trading with Russia, warns of 'undesirable result'
S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases fall below 20,000 ahead of lifting of indoor mask mandate
Prosecutors indict head of hotel adjoining site of Itaewon crowd crush
(Yonhap Interview) NATO chief calls for stronger security ties with S. Korea to address China, other global challenges