Seoul Flags Up Fertilizer Aid to N.Korea

      November 26, 2014 10:49

      Seoul signaled a possible easing of years of tight sanctions on North Korea with a tentative offer of fertilizer aid.

      "If transparency is guaranteed, [the government] could consider various assistance measures to North Korea including small-scale fertilizer aid," Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae said in a speech at a local forum on inter-Korean cooperation on Tuesday.

      The government banned rice and fertilizer aid to North Korea in 2010 as part of sanctions after the North sank the Navy corvette Cheonan. As recently as this March, Ryoo voiced opposition to plans by the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation to send fertilizer aid to the North, so his latest comments fuel hopes in some quarters that the government is willing to shift its stance.

      Last month President Park Geun-hye told members of a unification committee that Seoul could provide fertilizer aid to North Korea as part of a grassroots approach to solving food shortages in the North.

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