South Korea Blocks NGOs From Visiting North Korea

Posted October 25th, 2011 at 2:05 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

South Korea's Unification Ministry says it has denied permission for a group of private relief organizations to accept an invitation to North Korea.

Officials with the Korea NGO Council for Cooperation with North Korea, representing more than 50 NGOs, said Tuesday they have been invited to the North to discuss “overall issues.”

But the Unification Ministry told VOA it will not permit the trip because the purpose was to monitor 250 tons of flour which the groups sent to North Korea at the end of September. The ministry said South Korea does not permit monitoring activities by South Korean NGO's in North Korea.

South Korea in recent months has resumed allowing small amounts of private food and medical aid to be sent to North Korea as tensions have eased following two military attacks on the South last year.

North Korea suffers chronic food shortages and underwent a massive famine in the 1990s.