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North Korea Asks South Korea Reconciliation Group for Flood Relief


A South Korean citizens group says North Korea is seeking aid to repair damage from devastating floods.

Wednesday, a South Korean committee working for Korean reconciliation said a North Korean counterpart group has requested food, blankets, medical supplies, construction materials and machinery.

The faxed message is believed to be North Korea's first formal request for help in recovering from the floods.

Pyongyang initially turned down aid offers from foreign relief agencies.

A South Korean aid group has said that as many as 10,000 people are dead or missing after heavy rains caused floods and landslides in North Korea last month. North Korea's government has placed the death toll lower, in the hundreds.

The storms also destroyed vital crops, raising concerns the impoverished country could face famine.

South Korea stopped aid donations to the North last month after North Korean delegates walked out of high-level talks, refusing to address concerns about Pyongyang's missile program.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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