SEOUL (Xinhua) – South Korea decided yesterday to offer about 200,000 doses of Tamiflu antiviral medication to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in humanitarian aid.
The Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Council made the decision, setting aside 3.56 billion won (USD3.2 million) for transport cost and purchasing the medication that treats influenza, according to Seoul’s Unification Ministry.
The council, composed of government officials and civilian experts, is tasked with reviewing and deciding on policies relevant to inter-Korean exchange and cooperation.
In addition to the drugs, about 50,000 early medical detection kits, which were donated by a private entity, would be delivered to the DPRK.
An unnamed unification ministry official was quoted by local media as saying that 10 government officials would visit the DPRK’s border town of Kaesong as early as this week by a land route to deliver the medication.
It was part of efforts to implement the Pyongyang Declaration, signed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and top DPRK leader Kim Jong-un after their third summit in Pyongyang in September.
The two Koreas held working-level talks in November and December to discuss health and medical cooperation.
It would mark the first time since Moon took office in May 2017 that Seoul sends such medication to Pyongyang.
In 2009, South Korea offered about 400,000 doses of Tamiflu and 100,000 doses of Relenza antiviral medication to the DPRK.