The United States is reportedly mulling exempting humanitarian aid groups from a travel ban to North Korea and other sanctions against the communist country.
According to Voice of America, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said on Thursday that Washington is considering the exemptions for aid groups providing humanitarian aid for North Korea.
The spokesperson said the department is conducting a policy review to ensure the strict enforcement of sanctions will not hinder the provision of legitimate aid for North Koreans.
In response to criticism that the U.S. imposing sanctions on North Korea until the country fully denuclearizes undermines the mission of humanitarian aid groups in the country, the spokesperson said Washington hopes the groups will "meet international standards for access and monitoring of their programs."
The spokesperson added the U.S. and the United Nations will continue to closely examine requests for sanctions exemptions by aid groups.