The United States has reportedly been delaying the United Nations' approval of humanitarian aid to North Korea for months.
Citing documents obtained from a UN committee, Reuters reported on Thursday that several requests by humanitarian groups for UN approval to ship goods to North Korea for aid projects have been in limbo for months because the U.S. has repeatedly asked for more time to consider them.
The UN Security Council has imposed strong sanctions on North Korea since 2006 to cut funding for Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Under the measures, aid groups should seek approval from the 15-member Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee to send humanitarian assistance to the impoverished country.
But according to committee documents, Reuters said the approval of a request from a U.S.-based charity in September and a separate August request from an Ireland-based group are yet to be given the greenlight.
The report said the Security Council is set to discuss sanctions on North Korea behind closed doors on Friday at the request of Russia, and some diplomats said they expected the issue of humanitarian exemptions to be raised.