SEOUL, South Korea has no problem in drawing global cooperation for its planned delivery of antiviral medication to North Korea, a unification ministry official said Thursday.
The government promised to send 200,000 doses of Tamiflu to North Korea via a land route over their western border, but delivery has been repeatedly put off as Seoul says more time is needed for relevant preparations.
Speculation arose that Washington’s discomfort with the plan’s potential undermining of a global sanctions regime against Pyongyang might be behind the prolonged delay.
“There are no problems in our cooperation with the international community, including the United Nations Command,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity. “Please understand that we need more time for technical and practical preparatory issues,”
The United Nations Command (UNC) monitors the cease-fire on the Korean Peninsula and oversees such cross-border deliveries. Last week, the unification ministry said that it is in talks with the UNC on the Tamiflu provision issue.
A source said that South Korea tried to send the medication to the North before the Lunar New Year’s holiday, which started last Saturday, but North Korea is not responding to the offer.
Worries are growing that a further delay could render the medication waiting to be sent useless as the peak influenza season is drawing to an end.
Source: Yonhap News Agency