Seoul plans to provide 10 million U.S. dollars-worth of humanitarian assistance to North Korea via a World Food Program aid project.
The decision, made during a meeting of the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council on Thursday, aims to provide essential food and nutrition for hundreds of thousands of young children and women in the North.
This is the first humanitarian aid to the regime since the inauguration of unification minister Lee In-young in July, who has vowed to carry out more humanitarian cooperation projects between the two Koreas.
"It's important to express our sincerity to North Korea to restore inter-Korean ties. This can be done in words, but actions are more meaningful."
He also stressed the need to break away from the narrow-minded perspective of linking the issue of humanitarian aid with political and military situations.
The money will be remitted to the WFP next week, which will purchase goods needed by the North Korean people.
The aid, which will include some 36-hundred tons of corn, beans and cooking oil, is expected to arrive in North Korea around the end of this year.
An official from Seoul's unification ministry explains that the WFP requested the aid earlier this year, and the South Korean government engaged in related discussions with the international organization in March.
Last year, the South donated 4.5 million dollars in cash to help over 10 million North Koreans suffering from hunger.
The small-scale trade, or bartering, between the two Koreas, which was first suggested by Minister Lee, is also expected to take place in the near future.
This entails trading 150 million dollars-worth of North Korean liquor with 167 tons of sugar from the South, bypassing international sanctions that ban cash transfers.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.