SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Yonhap) -- Humanitarian aid activists for North Korea said Friday that United Nations agencies and international and nongovernmental organizations should be allowed to open at least one financial transaction channel with the North.
The activists, who held an international conference on humanitarian aid for North Korea in Seoul on Wednesday and Thursday, said in a joint statement that stable currency remittance should be permitted for all international aid organizations to help them operate in the North.
The United States Treasury Department has recently issued a warning against financial transactions with North Korea and reportedly asked South Korean banks to comply with the anti-North sanctions.
Kang Young-sik, secretary-general of the Korean Sharing Movement (KSM), a nongovernmental organization committed to improving North Korea's humanitarian situation, said, "Humanitarian supplies are usually bought in China before being sent to the North. But the decisive obstacle occurs in the process of remittance."
Kang continued, "We're actually asking the United States government to guarantee the opening of a financial transaction account and stable currency remittance in relation to minimum humanitarian aid for North Korea."
The statement, in the meantime, demanded that the United Nations and governments prepare transparent regulations and procedures to ensure that humanitarian activities continue to take place in North Korea, humanitarian supplies are delivered in time and activists' access to the North is facilitated.
It urged that the U.N. and governments reflect North Korea's humanitarian needs in their policymaking process and provide necessary fiscal resources.
The statement also asked Pyongyang to promote transparency and accountability in relation to its acceptance of humanitarian assistance.
The international conference, co-hosted by the KSM, Gyeonggi Province and the Korean office of Germany's Friedrich Ebert Foundation, was attended by about 80 officials from local and foreign governments and nongovernmental organizations.
Source: Yonhap News Agency