UN grants sanctions exemptions for humanitarian aid to N. Korea

SEOUL. KAZINFORM - The U.N. Security Council has granted sanctions exemptions allowing the Swiss government and a global relief organization to provide North Korea with a series of goods related to drinking water supplies and flood prevention, Yonhap reports.

A U.N. committee handling sanctions on North Korea granted the waivers for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and World Vision International last week, according to the committee's website.

The list of goods approved for the Swiss agency includes pump wires, safety ropes and cables for a solar pump drinking water supply system. They are worth US$26,952 in total, according to a document on the website.

The committee also allowed the Swiss government to ship 53 tons of galvanized iron wire worth 63,600 euros ($72,300) for its project on flood protection in North Korea.

For World Vision International, the U.N. committee granted a waiver for 110 items, including wire pipes and 25 tons of cement, for the group's Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project. The aid group did not disclose the total value of the goods.

The latest approvals raised the total number of humanitarian exemptions related to North Korea currently in effect to nine. The exemptions are valid for six months.
Humanitarian activities are not banned under international sanctions, but related materials require sanctions waivers from the U.N.

Aid organizations have said that multilayered sanctions imposed on North Korea for its nuclear provocations are affecting their operations through a disruption of banking channels, a breakdown in supply chains and delays in the transportation of goods.

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