South Korea said Wednesday that it will send 50,000 tons of domestic rice to North Korea as food aid through a U.N. food agency.

"The timing and size of the additional aid to North Korea will be decided in the future based on how this latest food support turns out," Unification Minister Kim Yeon Chul told reporters.

When asked by when the aid would arrive in North Korea, he said the ministry will do its best to complete the process within September.

The announcement came after South Korea last week wired $8 million worth of humanitarian aid to U.N. agencies -- $4.5 million to the World Food Program and $3.5 million to the U.N. Children's Fund, or UNICEF -- for North Korean pregnant women and children in need.

The two U.N. agencies in May issued a "joint rapid food security assessment" report in which they estimated that 10.1 million people, or about 40 percent of North Korea's population, are food insecure and in urgent need of assistance.

The ministry said South Korea is providing the aid as food insecurity in North Korea is at its worst level in a decade, while it also hopes to boost inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation.