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S. Korea to wait for N. Korea's response to aid offer with no deadline set: ministry

North Korea 14:13 May 23, 2022

SEOUL, May 23 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean government will wait for North Korea's response to its offer of cooperation against the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving the door open for sending aid through international organizations, the unification ministry said Monday.

Last Monday, the ministry attempted to send a fax message to the North through their joint liaison office to offer working-level consultations on the pandemic and medical assistance, including vaccines, masks and test kits.

But the North has remained unresponsive as of Monday morning.

"Making a regular call at 9 a.m. via the inter-Korean liaison office today, the Ministry of Unification asked the North for its intent on whether to accept the message that we sought to deliver last week, but the North Korean side made no mention of the issue and ended the call," the ministry's spokesperson Cho Joong-hoon told a press briefing.

South Korea plans to wait for the North's response with an "open mind" without setting a certain deadline, he added.

The ministry urged Pyongyang to respond to Seoul's calls for coronavirus-related cooperation, stating its willingness to consider various ways to deliver assistance, including through international organizations.

This file photo, provided by the unification ministry, shows a South Korean liaison officer talking to his North Korean counterpart at the Seoul bureau of their joint liaison office on July 27, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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