South Korea's unification minister met with the head of a U.N. agency on population Friday to discuss Seoul's possible support for its census on North Korea, government officials said.
Minister Cho Myoung-gyon held talks with Natalia Kanem, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), who is in Seoul for a forum on population, according to the Ministry of Unification.
Cho emphasized the importance of a census and that he is mulling a project that the U.N. body proposed, the ministry said. Kanem also stressed the importance of securing accurate data on the population.
The ministry earlier said that it is "positively" considering contributing US$6 million to UNFPA's 2018 survey of the North Korean population. A preliminary survey is being conducted in October with technical support from the U.N. agency.
The government said that financing part of the project will be a good chance to grasp the current state of the North Korean population and to use the outcome of the census for inter-Korean economic cooperation later.
It would mark the first census of the North since 2008, when the South provided Pyongyang with $4 million by tapping into its inter-Korean cooperation fund.