South Korea announces aid plans for flood-hit North Korea

September 13, 2010 05:55

SEOUL, South Korea— South Korea announced plans Monday to send 5,000 tons of rice and other aid to flood-stricken North Korea in a sign of easing tension between the divided countries.

The aid would mark South Korea's first major aid shipment to North Korea since March's deadly sinking of a South Korean warship, which was blamed on Pyongyang. That incident spiked tensions, but the two Koreas have exchanged conciliatory gestures in recent weeks.A senior US envoy, meanwhile, huddled Monday with officials in Seoul during a trip focused on restarting the deadlocked negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program.

South Korea is planning 10 billion won ($8.5 million) in aid to help the North recover from heavy flooding in its northwest, the South's Red Cross said Monday.

The aid would include 5,000 tons of rice, 10,000 tons of cement, medicine and other items to be financed by the government, Red Cross chief Yoo Chong-ha told a nationally televised news conference.

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