South Korea said it had abandoned efforts to send flood relief to North Korea after Pyongyang failed to respond to Seoul’s offer, amid disagreement over what kind of aid to send.
Despite high tensions, Seoul in August offered five billion won ($4.7 million) in aid to Pyongyang after dozens were killed or injured by a storm and torrential rain in the North in June and July.
But the South only offered to provide items such as quilts, medicine, instant noodles and nutritious meals for children despite the North’s request for rice, cement and equipment for reconstruction.
South Korea has been reluctant to ship rice or cement for fear it could be diverted to the military.
After decades of deforestation, the impoverished North Korea is particularly vulnerable to flooding. Its state media reported dozens of casualties, thousands homeless and large areas of farmland flooded.
The aid offer was Seoul’s first since Pyongyang’s deadly attack on a border island last November that left four South Koreans dead and further heightened tension.