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South Korea Resumes Rice Aid to North Korea


South Korea is resuming its rice aid to North Korea Saturday after nearly a one-year suspension, now that Pyongyang is moving to dismantle its nuclear program.

A ship with 3,000 tons of rice is to arrive in the North at the eastern port of Nampo - the first batch of 400,000 tons promised by South Korea.

Seoul suspended its regular rice aid after North Korea conducted missile tests last July. A nuclear test followed in October.

South Korea resumed shipments of fertilizer and other emergency aid to the North in late March, but decided to withhold rice aid until Pyongyang began to carry out its February pledge to shut down its main nuclear reactor.

North Korea has relied heavily on international aid, particularly from South Korea, since the North's economy was devastated by natural disasters and mismanagement in the mid-1990s.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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