The South Korean government on Friday approved the first shipment of food aid to North Korea since the death of dictator Kim Jong Il last month.
The South Korean Unification Ministry has given the green light to the sending on January 27 of 180 tons of flour to elementary schools and day care centers by the Korea Peace Foundation, Kim Hyung-suk, a ministry spokesman, said at a briefing.
North Korea has agreed to receive the shipment, according to the ministry.
Pyongyang announced Kim's death on December 19, setting off speculation about the stability of the reclusive state and its possible consequences for the broader region. Kim's youngest son and chosen successor, Kim Jong Un, has replaced him as the regime's "supreme leader."
The country's dysfunctional economy, hurt by failed policies and international sanctions, has resulted in famines and widespread malnutrition during the past two decades. Other countries and international organizations have repeatedly stepped in with food aid, most recently to alleviate chronic malnutrition among the most vulnerable groups.FULL STORY