Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The United Nations Security Council sanctions committee on North Korea has agreed to exempt greenhouse equipment for humanitarian purposes.
A letter issued Aug. 4 that was posted to the Security Council's 1718 sanctions committee website on Wednesday shows the committee has approved the request for sanctions exemption for a South Korean provincial government, Yonhap reported.
The South Koreans will be allowed to deliver materials worth $368,000 for the construction of glass greenhouses in the North Korean port city of Nampo and South Pyongyang Province, the committee said. The exemption expires on Feb. 4, 2021.
"The items are requested to be shipped once together or in a consolidated manner, with a view to increasing efficiency of shipping and custom clearance," the U.N. committee said. "While properly implementing United Nations sanctions, humanitarian activities should not be unduly restricted."
The equipment the South will be allowed to send to the North include window frames, lighting, glass structures and insulation. Other hardware exempted from sanctions include irrigation equipment, circulator pumps and thermostats used in greenhouses.
A South Korean official with the Gyeonggi provincial government told Yonhap the decision was practical in light of recent inter-Korea developments. Pyongyang has rejected working-level talks, but the South's progressive government has pushed forward with a strategy that supports engagement.
On Tuesday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the United Nations is prepared to help North Korea recover from mass flooding.
"The U.N. team in the country is in contact with government authorities and stand ready to support its response to the most vulnerable communities if required," the office said in statement.
North Korea's weather agency has said heavy downpours are expected to continue through August.