February 18, 2016 10:11
Since North Korea's fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6, the government here has turned down a total of 17 civilian applications for visits to the North and delivery of goods to North Koreans.
Now the government is also determined to suspend humanitarian assistance to the North including programs for small children.
The Unification Ministry on Wednesday said it received 17 applications for inter-Korean projects or business programs between the North's latest nuclear test and mid-January.
It added that a temporary halt of humanitarian assistance to the North is inevitable because of its continued provocations.
"There's no change in our basic policy on humanitarian programs for vulnerable North Koreans including babies and infants," ministry spokesman Jung Joon-hee told reporters. "Nonetheless, the programs should also be shelved at a time when the North carries out grave provocations."
The programs include healthcare for North Korean mothers and children and prevention of infectious diseases.
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