Seoul: In a temporary relief to North Korea, the United Nations has waived sanctions to agencies providing humanitarian assistance, including food security, access to clean water and improving children’s health, to enter the communist country.
Yonhap news agency reported that the sanction relief came into effect on March 14, allowing aid agency Mennonite Central Committee to bring items such as hygiene kits and surgical tools, into North Korea.
The approval of these exemptions, valid for six months, raised the total number of humanitarian exemptions related to North Korea currently in effect to 21.
Humanitarian assistance is not banned under international sanctions, however, the flow of aid materials are restricted by the U.N.
The Mennonite Central Committee said that said it will deliver medical equipment by hand during a monitoring visit in May.
Citing local media reports, Christian Friends of Korea, a United States-based non-governmental organisation, embarked on a three-week visit to North Korea, marking the first visit to the country by any U.S. aid organisation.
US President Donald Trump removed additional “large-scale” US Treasury sanctions on North Korea on March 23. This move is largely being viewed as Trump’s bid to keep denuclearisation talks with North Korea on track after the Hanoi summit ended abruptly last month without any agreement.
The White House refused to comment on Trump’s move, according to CNN, but added that the President took the step because he “likes” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.