South Korea plans to send 600,000 coronavirus testing kits to the United States on Tuesday in the first such shipment following a request from U.S. President Donald Trump, a Seoul official told Reuters on Monday.
Trump made the request for testing kits in a telephone call on March 25 with President Moon Jae-in, as the United States was grappling with fast-growing outbreaks in many states.
A U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency cargo plane carrying the equipment is scheduled to leave at 10:30 p.m. (1330 GMT) on Tuesday, the official said on condition of anonymity due to the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue.
The kits were made by two of the three companies that secured preliminary arrival late last month from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the official said, but declined to name them.
The shipments will be handed over to and paid for by the U.S. government, while the additional 150,000 kits will be exported in the near future to be sold via an unspecified local retailer, the official said.