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S Korea Ready to Offer Relief Aid to Earthquake-hit Chile

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South Korea on Sunday said it was prepared to offer relief aid to help Chile, which was hit by a magnitude 8.8 earthquake on Saturday.

The South Korean government held an emergency meeting with related ministries earlier in the day to discuss the possible aid plan, according to a press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The government pledged to provide rapid assistance to Chile, but the concrete scale of the aid in the early stage will be decided based on the international community's moves and specified losses caused by the earthquake, it noted.

As for the possiblity of sending a rescue team to the South American nation, the government will make a decision on the issue after consulting with the Chilean government, it added.

The foreign ministry also expressed deep condolences to the Chilean government and its people.

The tremor, one of the world's most powerful quakes in decades, rocked Chile at 3:34 AM local time (0634 GMT) on Saturday, knocking down homes and hospitals and triggering a tsunami that rolled menacingly across the Pacific. More than 300 people have been reportedly killed in the massive earthquake, according to the Chilean National Emergency Office (Onemi) earlier on Saturday.

(Xinhua News Agency February 28, 2010)

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