The Unification Ministry said it has not made an official proposal to North Korea nor held consultations with its northern neighbor on providing COVID-19 vaccine support.
A ministry official revealed the stance on Thursday after being asked whether the South had made such an offer, citing a CNN report released on Tuesday.
In that report, CNN quoted an unidentified senior Washington official familiar with internal discussions as saying Pyongyang refused to cooperate with COVAX and rejected Seoul’s offers to assist in handling the pandemic.
The Unification Ministry official said the government can only consider providing pandemic support to the North if the government ensures the health and safety of the South Korean people.
The official said he believes requests to confirm the North’ stance on the issue should be made toward an international organization, adding that he understands that related consultations are under way.
In order for a country to receive vaccine support from COVAX, it must present various materials, including a vaccination plan and which groups will get priority. The North is said to have yet to complete submitting such documents.