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Typhoon-stricken North Korea rebuffs aid offer from South

By K.J. Kwon, CNN
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Wed September 12, 2012
  • In August, Tropical Storm Bolaven killed at least 48 people, left tens of thousands homeless
  • South Korea offered aid, and the North requested a list of aid items
  • South Korea offered the North flour, instant noodles, medical supplies and other aid
  • "North Korea replied saying that they don't need such aid," South Korean Unification Ministry says

(CNN) -- North Korea on Wednesday refused aid from the South Korean government, reversing its previous decision.

The impoverished nation was plagued by powerful Tropical Storm Bolaven in August, which killed at least 48 people and left tens of thousands homeless.

South Korea offered aid to North Korea last week. The North initially agreed but requested a list of aid items.

Seoul on Tuesday followed up, offering 10,000 tons of flour, 3 million packages of instant noodles, medical supplies and other aid, according to the South Korean Unification Ministry.

North Korea agrees to take South Korea aid

"North Korea replied saying that they don't need such aid," according to a news release from the ministry.

"We were hoping the aid would be able to help North Korean people. We are very regretful to hear about their rejection," it added.

Seoul also offered aid, in the form of instant noodles and biscuits, to its impoverished neighbor last year, but it was rebuffed after North Korea requested rice and cement instead, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

The country is reported to be in desperate need of aid to cope with flooding. The United Nations World Food Program has called for emergency help for North Korea.

The storm also followed widespread flooding in late July from heavy rains, which caused the death of at least 169 people, according to KCNA, the state-run North Korean media agency.

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