Friday, December 18, 2009

South Korea delivers swine flu medicine to North Korea

South Korean trucks carrying the Influenza medicine Tamiflu and Relenza pass the gates to leave for North Korean city of Kaesong, at customs, immigration and quarantine office in Paju, near the border village of the Panmunjom (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas since the Korean War, South Korea, Friday, Dec. 18, 2009.
(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
SEOUL, South Korea-A convoy of South Korean trucks crossed the border into North Korea on Friday to deliver swine flu medicine, a day after Pyongyang threatened retaliation over naval drills around their disputed sea border.
The previously scheduled delivery across the heavily armed border came a day after North Korea threatened retaliation over what it claimed were South Korean naval drills around their disputed sea border, accusing Seoul of attempting to escalate tension.
The shipment marks the South Korean government's first humanitarian aid since conservative President Lee Myung-bak took office in early 2008 with a pledge to pursue a hard-line policy toward the North and hold it accountable to its nuclear disarmament pledges.
North Korea acknowledged for the first time last week that swine flu had broken out in the country after Seoul offered unconditional aid to help contain its spread. The North did not mention any virus-related deaths, but a Seoul-based civic group claimed that the disease had killed about 50 people in the North since early November.

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