South Korea plans to offer talks with Pyongyang over Covid support

South Korea wants to have working-level talks with North Korea, a senior official said here on Sunday, in an apparent effort to assist Pyongyang in curbing the spread of Covid-19.

North Korea announced the deployment of a "high emergency" virus control system last week, confirming the first Covid-19 outbreak since the epidemic began two years ago. North Korea claimed to be clear of the coronavirus.

According to media reports, "the government is aggressively reviewing to publicly propose to North Korea hosting a working-level meeting at the beginning of the week." South Korea intends to present its proposal to North Korea after consulting with appropriate ministries, the report reads.

After new Unification Minister Kwon Young-se takes office this week, the process could accelerate. If North Korea accepts the offer, it will be the first time the two countries have met since South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol took office last week.

Yoon proposed to supply North Korea Covid-19 vaccinations and other medical supplies on May 13. North Korea announced 15 more Covid-19 deaths on Sunday, bringing the total to 42 since late April. Notably, 8, 20,620 North Koreans have been infected by the virus while 4,96,030 have been cured and 324,550 are undergoing treatment.

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