UNSC Lowers Bar for Humanitarian Aid to N.Korea

  • By Yoon Hyung-jun

    February 11, 2019 13:38

    The UN Security Council has granted relatively generous exemptions from sanctions for humanitarian aid to North Korea. This may be a deliberate step on the part of the U.S., a permanent member, to entice North Korea into giving up its nuclear program.

    The UNSC has approved exemptions to North Korea sanctions on a total of eight occasions in just over a month, according to Voice of America on Saturday.

    They included a UNICEF delivery of medical goods to fight tuberculosis and malaria and the Swiss Foreign Ministry's clean drinking water and sanitation program.

    During the whole of last year, exemptions were made on only 17 occasions. But now exemptions seem to be coming faster as well as U.S.-North Korea denuclearization talks resumed.

    Last year, it took about two months for UNICEF to get approval for a humanitarian project, but this year the International Federation of Red Cross applied for an exemption for delivery of medical equipment on Jan. 16 and got approval on Jan. 31.

    After a working-group meeting in Seoul last December, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun said he would discuss with U.S. aid groups a more secure way of appropriate aid to the North, even as sanctions remain firmly in place.

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