Skip to main content

North Korea agrees to take South Korea aid

By K.J. Kwon, CNN
updated 8:40 PM EDT, Mon September 10, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • North Korea is suffering after a powerful tropical cyclone hit last month, killing dozens
  • The United Nations called for emergency aid
  • North Korea hasn't taken aid from the South in two years
  • North and South are legally at war and relations between the two are very tense

(CNN) -- North Korea, reeling from a powerful tropical cyclone, will accept aid from South Korean government for the first time in two years, South Korea said Monday.

The United Nations World Food Program called for emergency help for North Korea after cyclone Bolaven hit in August, killing at least 48 and leaving 21,000 homeless, according to North Korea's state news agency KCNA.

Some media reported that the death toll could be higher.

Typhoon tourism: One week in North Korea

The storm followed widespread flooding in late July from heavy rains, which caused the death of at least 169 people, according to KCNA.

Riding out typhoon in Okinawa

South Korea offered aid to North Korea through the Korean Red Cross last week.

"We got a reply back from North Korea this morning," requesting aid, said Park Soo-jin, deputy spokeswoman of South Korea's Unification Ministry.

The two countries are still legally at war and relations between them are tense at the best of times.

South Korea halted aid to the North after it shelled Yeongpyeong Island in November 2010, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians.

Pyongyang claimed it was retaliating for South Korean artillery landing in their waters during a military drill.

This is not the first aid proposal by the South.

Last year, Seoul offered Pyongyang aid in the form of instant noodles and biscuits, but the offer was rejected after the North called for rice and cement, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The aid deal will be discussed via document exchanges through the neutral village of Panmunjom.

North Korea agreed to accept food aid from a private agency, the Korea Peace Foundation, in January, South Korea's Unification Ministry said at the time.

TIME: North Korea threatens South over Christmas lights

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:25 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
North Korea has released photos that claim to show leader Kim Jong Un, whose absence for over a month has raised speculation.
updated 1:43 AM EDT, Sat October 11, 2014
Despite tense relations, China benefits from Kim Jong Un's rule in North Korea. David McKenzie explains.
updated 4:51 AM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
North Korea has "the world's most advantageous human rights system," the country declares.
updated 9:35 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions Monday in an exclusive interview with CNN.
updated 6:41 AM EDT, Tue May 28, 2013
Beijing-based tour company posts exclusive photos and video from inspection visit.
updated 9:37 PM EDT, Sat August 30, 2014
CNN's Will Ripley makes a rare live report from reclusive North Korea.
updated 4:52 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
The crowd cheers as the stars make their way to the ring for first pro-wrestling bout North Korea has seen in almost 20 years.
updated 9:36 AM EDT, Wed March 27, 2013
A German photographer returns from the closed country with unlikely pictures of everyday residents.
updated 8:16 AM EST, Mon December 2, 2013
Visiting the DPRK is easy these days, so long as you don't forget to play by their rules.
updated 10:45 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
CNN's Will Ripley is given a rare look inside North Korea and tours Kim Jong Un's pet project, a waterpark.
updated 8:21 AM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
North Korea rejected an invitation to the Pope's Mass in Seoul. CNN's Paula Hancocks reports.
updated 6:25 PM EDT, Wed July 2, 2014
As diplomats discuss a string of unsolved kidnappings of Japanese citizens by North Korea, the families of those abducted anxiously wait.
updated 7:44 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
New signs show Russia and North Korea are developing a closer relationship.
updated 8:12 PM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Photographer Eric Lafforgue visited North Korea and shares his inside look at the most isolated country in the world.
updated 9:25 PM EDT, Mon May 12, 2014
Many North Koreans listen to illegal broadcasts on homemade radios, some are convinced to defect.
updated 3:26 PM EDT, Thu May 8, 2014
Jang Jin-Sung, a North Korean defector and former regime insider, speaks with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
ADVERTISEMENT