S. Korea to deliver anti-viral sanitizer to N. Korea next week

According to Yonhap:

South Korea said Tuesday it will send 1 billion won (US$866,000) worth of hand sanitizer next week to North Korea to help the impoverished neighbor combat the spread of the H1N1 flu virus.

The shipment of 200,000 liters of sanitizer, scheduled for next Monday, comes after South Korea delivered some $15 million in anti-viral medications to the North in December in the first state-level cross-border humanitarian aid in nearly two years.

North Korea first acknowledged cases of Influenza A virus infection on Dec. 9, but it has yet to report any flu-related deaths.

The hand sanitizer will be transported to the North Korean border town of Kaesong on South Korean trucks across the military demarcation line and handed to the North there, Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said.

“North Korea agreed to accept the aid on Feb. 22,” he told reporters, adding about 20 25-ton trucks will likely be mobilized to deliver the aid.

The Tamiflu aid in December marked the first humanitarian assistance provided by the South Korean government to North Korea since conservative President Lee Myung-bak took office in Seoul in early 2008. Lee cut off the unconditional aid that his liberal predecessors had shipped to the North over the past decade, conditioning exchanges on progress in the North’s denuclearization.

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S. Korea to deliver anti-viral sanitizer to N. Korea next week

UPDATE: The shipment has been delivered

SKorea sends 2nd batch of swine flu aid to NKorea
AP via Business Week

South Korean trucks have crossed the border into North Korea to deliver a second batch of swine flu aid.

Unification Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo says South Korea sent 52,840 gallons (200,000 liters) of hand sanitizers to North Korea on Tuesday.

South Korea sent enough doses of the antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza for 500,000 North Koreans in December in its first direct humanitarian aid to the communist country in nearly two years. North and South Korea have remained in a state of war since 1953.

North Korea acknowledged in December that swine flu had broken out in the country though hasn’t mentioned any virus-related deaths.

Tamiflu is made by Switzerland’s Roche Group. Relenza is a procuct of GlaxoSmithKline.


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