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Thursday, 28 September, 2000, 08:12 GMT 09:12 UK
Food aid to North Korea

South Korea says it is to provide food aid to North Korea as a long-term loan worth a hundred million dollars.

The agreement involves five hundred thousand tonnes of grain, with a further one hundred thousand tonnes of corn being donated through the United Nations.

The announcement was made as ministerial level talks between the two Koreas got underway on the southern island of Cheju.

The first shipments of food to the North are to take place early next month.

The South Korean government said the North has promised to be open in the way it distributes the food -- easing fears that some may be diverted for use by the military.

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