The Republic of Korea (RoK) on April 4 approved additional humanitarian aid to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Two local civic groups were given the green light to send food items worth 176 million KRW (161,734 USD) to children at nurseries and orphanages in northeastern parts of the DPRK, according to the RoK Unification Ministry.

The government will comprehensively consider factors such as the need for assistance, transparency in distribution and the urgency of each case in deciding whether to authorize civilian assistance, the ministry’s spokesperson Chun Hae-sung said.

The move marked the latest civilian aid after the RoK lifted a virtual ban on civilian aid last week imposed since last November, when the two countries exchanged fire near their disputed western maritime border.

The latest approval for humanitarian assistance came after the World Food Program said the DPRK is in need of some 434,000 tonnes of food assistance to tackle its critical food shortage affecting a quarter of its 24 million people./.