Seoul to offer North Korea $8 million in humanitarian aid

South Korea's Moon urges North to give up nuclear weapons

Under President Moon Jae-in, who has advocated for greater engagement with Pyongyang, the South Korean government announced last week a plan to send $8 million in aid to the North through two United Nations agencies - UNICEF and the World Food Program (WFP).

During a meeting in NY with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, Moon said that South Korea has always hosted global sports events successfully despite being technically at war with the North, according to a South Korean presidential official, and that a successful hosting of the Pyeongchang games would reassure the world of regional peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. "And this is what the global community agrees with, including the U.S., Russian Federation and Switzerland".

President Moon Jae-in voiced support for stronger sanctions in response to the North's recent weapons tests, but his tone was in stark contrast to President Donald Trump's dark warning at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that North Korea would be "totally destroyed" if it attacked.

To the North, Moon renewed his call for inter-Korean peace, first unveiled in Berlin in July, reiterating that South Korea "does not wish for its collapse".

In a statement Wednesday, the South's Unification Ministry said the decision to resume aid was in line with "the government's stance that it separates the provision of humanitarian aid from politics and it continues to provide aid to improve the humanitarian situation of North Korean residents and the quality of their lives".

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Moon, a longtime dove who was elected in May, warned North Korea to end its string of nuclear and missile tests but also promised help if the communist neighbor changed course.

In the separate meetings, the ministers condemned North Korea's sixth nuclear test on September 3 and called for strong countermeasures against Pyongyang. However, some experts say that continuing questions about how to respond to North Korea could drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul.

The U.N. Security Council has unanimously imposed nine rounds of sanctions on North Korea since 2006, the latest this month capping fuel supplies to the isolated state.

Moon cautioned that North Korean nuclear issues need to be "managed stably" to prevent a spike in tensions and military clashes - a prospect that has overshadowed this year's gathering of world leaders. -South Korea military exercises. "It is never the intention of economic sanctions to hurt the most vulnerable in society".

In Geneva, North Korea told a United Nations rights panel that worldwide sanctions would endanger the survival of North Korean children.

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