The U.S. State Department says it's "deeply concerned" about the coronavirus' potential impact on North Korea and is ready to help.
It said Thursday that the department is prepared to approve assistance from American and international aid organizations.
The statement came after the Red Cross called for an urgent exemption to the sanctions put in place on Pyeongyang due to its nuclear weapons programand wants to be allowed to transfer funds to its North Korea office, saying it is "essential as a life-saving intervention."
Such a humanitarian move shows that the U.S. is willing to make a small concession but experts say this has often been the way in which the U.S. has approached the regime.
"The truth is that the U.S. government has always granted humanitarian waivers to North Korea. I mean, based on the State Department and the Treasury Department allows NGOs to receive funds that allow them to continue their humanitarian assistance activities in the country."
He added that Washington has always separated humanitarian issues from any nuclear negotiations with the North.
Meanwhile, a U.S. military commander said Thursday that North Korea will take part in further weapons tests to improve their capability of reaching the U.S. mainland.
And although the Trump administration seemed to have lost interest in talks with North Korea, the timing of the U.S. military reaffirming that North Korea is ready to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile is interesting says the expert.
"I think this is essentially message from the U.S. government that, you know, the language itself was very objective, factual, but underlying it, U.S. has started to recognize North Korea as capability of such threat to be real and preparing countermeasures.
Talks between the U.S. and North Korea stalled since the working-level meeting which took place in Stockholm last October.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.