North Korea made a rare expression of gratitude Friday after South Korea sent H1N1 or swine flu medicine, an official said.
The Associated Press reports that anti-viral drugs, including Tamiflu and Relenza, for up to 500 thousand people were driven across the heavily fortified border in trucks. Earlier this month, the North said that it had several domestic cases of swine flu.
The shipment marks the South Korean government's first humanitarian aid since conservative President Lee Myung-bak took office in early 2008 with a pledge to pursue a hard-line policy toward the North and hold it accountable to its nuclear disarmament pledges.
South Korean medical officials explained to North Korean counterparts how to use the medicine and its side effects, Kim Young-il, the head of the South Korean delegation, said after returning from the North's border city Kaesong.
"We express thanks to South Korea for sending medicine," Kim quoted North Korean Health Ministry official Han Su Chol as saying.