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Report: U.N. North Korea sanctions panel exempts dental equipment

Report: U.N. North Korea sanctions panel exempts dental equipment
The United Nations Security Council sanctions committee on North Korea approved a request for sanctions exemption for Medical Aid for Children, a South Korean NGO. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 18 (UPI) -- The United Nations Security Council sanctions committee on North Korea has agreed to exempt dental equipment for humanitarian reasons.

A letter issued on Aug. 13 that was posted to the Security Council's 1718 sanctions committee website shows the committee has approved the request for sanctions exemption for Medical Aid for Children, a South Korean NGO, Voice of America's Korean service reported.

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MAC is a medical equipment assistance project serving the health needs of children and other vulnerable groups, the committee said.

The group specifically supports work in bringing dental equipment to children, pregnant women and the elderly, according to VOA.

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A South Korean unification ministry official told the news service MAC applied for sanctions exemption with the ministry in May. The South Korean government forwarded the request to the United Nations.

South Korea will continue to provide "necessary support" for civilian-led organizations in the area of North Korea humanitarian assistance, the official said.

Items that have been exempted include medical equipment used for the production of dentures and computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing milling machines, used to design and make prototypes for prosthetic teeth.

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North Korea is under heavy sanctions because of nuclear weapons and missile tests.

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According to the U.S. Army's North Korean Tactics report published in July, North Korea is estimated to retain at least 20 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.

"Estimates for North Korean nuclear weapons range from 20 to 60 bombs, with the capability to produce 6 new devices each year," the report says.

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"The Kim family saw that Moammar Gadhafi gave up his nuclear weapons in 2003 but, without them, external powers intervened in Libya when the domestic revolts began in 2011.

"The Kim family does not want something similar to happen in North Korea."

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