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Colin Zwirko is an NK News correspondent based in Seoul.
The UN has approved the remainder of a series of November 2018 sanctions exemption requests for shipments of humanitarian aid to North Korea by the German organization Welthungerhilfe, the website of the UN committee in charge of sanctions on the DPRK reported.
Welthungerhilfe (translated as German Agro Action) will now be allowed to send to North Korea “equipment for the production and storage of seeds, the improvement of food supply, improving the nutrition situation, and humanitarian disaster prevention,” the approval letter said.
The July 30-dated letter addressed to the German mission stated that the 1718 Sanctions Committee “decided to approve the remaining requests for exemptions” by the organization, referencing seven requests originally submitted on November 12 last year.
This follows a partial approval by the committee in February after reviewing the seven requests, deciding at the time to allow only the supply of “equipment for the provision of safe drinking water.”
An attachment mentioned in the latest letter, which supposedly details the list of items approved for shipping to North Korea, was not uploaded to the UN website, however.
NK News has reached out to Welthungerhilfe for a full list of the approved items, as well as further details of its upcoming projects in North Korea.
As with all sanctions exemptions granted by the committee, the letter states that Welthungerhilfe is required to transfer the items to the DPRK within the next six months, or by January 25 next year.
The organization’s website lists one ongoing project in North Korea, in the area of nutrition, while its 2018 annual report said four projects were ongoing that year in agriculture and the environment.
The report lists the German Federal Foreign Office and the European Commission (EC) as the two main funders for its work in North Korea in 2018.
The EC has also been the indirect recipient of multiple sanctions exemptions from the UN committee in recent weeks, with approvals for the Italian companies Agriconsulting and Agrotec SpA that it contracted for agricultural aid work in North Korea.
In addition, the UN 1718 committee this week also approved a request by World Vision International for the shipment of otherwise-sanctioned items to be used in a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) project.
Edited by James Fretwell and Oliver Hotham
Featured image: NK News