South Korea's plan to give food aid to North Korea is still on,.. despite the North's firing of short-range missiles Thursday the second such incident in less than a week.
On Friday, Seoul's unification ministry announced:
"North Korea faces a very serious food situation. There is no change in our stance that there needs to be food aid to the North in a humanitarian and fraternal move."
The ministry added that it needs support from the South Korean people and will work to collect public opinion.
Seoul officially announced on Wednesday that it will provide humanitarian food assistance to Pyeongyang through close coordination with the international community.
With support from the U.S., talk of food aid to the North gained traction, even going as far as covering whether South Korea will offer direct assistance or go through the UN.
But with the North firing two short-range missiles on Thursday, views are divided on whether Seoul should go ahead with plan.
Meeting with the Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul on Friday, the head of parliament's foreign affairs committee, Representative Yoon Sang-hyun, voiced concerns that the government should be prudent about the timing of the food aid.
Stressing that humanitarian assistance shouldn't look like a reward for or submission to the North's missile launch, Yoon urged the government to first form a consensus with the public and the international community.
"Seoul's unification minister agreed that social consensus is crucial in providing assistance to the North. The unification ministry says it will collect opinions from the public, taking into account changes on the Korean Peninsula. Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News."