Millennium Post

North Korea ready to accept flood relief from South

North Korea has said it is ready to accept flood relief from South Korea for the first time in two years, but wants more details of the aid on offer, a government official in Seoul said on Monday.

A spokesman for the South's Unification Ministry said the North had responded to Seoul's aid proposal in a message sent through the Red Cross at the Panmunjom truce village on their heavily-militarised border.

‘It said it was ready to accept aid, but asked us to present a detailed plan about items our side plans to send,’ the spokesman said, adding that Pyongyang wanted the information exchanged in document form.

‘However, our side hopes there will be face-to-face contacts. We will send a reply after discussions our side,’ he said.

South Korea had made its proposal last week - the first such aid offer since ties with Pyongyang sank into a deep freeze following the death of the North's leader Kim Jong-Il last December.

Tensions were further fuelled by a joint US-South Korea military exercise last month that the North denounced as a provocative rehearsal for war.

The impoverished North is grappling with the after-effects of floods in June and July that killed 569 people and inundated 161,310 acres of crop-bearing land, according to official figures from Pyongyang.


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