North Korea's state news agency says leader Kim Jong Il has sent $500,000 to ethnic Koreans in Japan to help them recover from a devastating earthquake and tsunami.
The Korean Central News Agency didn't elaborate Thursday, but Kim's money was apparently meant for pro-Pyongyang residents in Japan.
Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Koreans live in Japan. Some support Pyongyang while others back Seoul. They are mostly descendants of Koreans who went to Japan during its 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula.
South Korean media reports say Kim has sent money to pro-Pyongyang residents in Japan after past earthquakes.
KCNA says Pyongyang's Red Cross Society sent $100,000 to its Japanese counterpart.