North Korea calls U.S. humanitarian offer 'foolish', politically motivated

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A North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

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SEOUL, June 30 (Reuters) - North Korea said the United States is taking advantage of its COVID-19 outbreak by offering humanitarian aid with political purposes.

North Korea's foreign ministry said in an article published on Thursday that the United States' offer was a plot to water down international criticism on its hostile policy toward North Korea.

The ministry criticized the United States' offer of humanitarian aid to be insincere amid its recent military exercises and moves to impose more sanctions.

It added that the United States, which failed on its own COVID crisis, should drop its "foolish" offer, and take care of its own situation at home.

Washington and South Korea had offered to provide humanitarian support, such as COVID vaccines and medical supplies, to North Korea after its first COVID outbreak since late April, but got no responses from Pyongyang.

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Reporting by Jihoon Lee Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Jonathan Oatis

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