Se­vere drought is re­ported

Los Angeles Times - - THE WORLD -

North Korea says it has been hit by its worst drought in a cen­tury, with ex­ten­sive dam­age to agri­cul­ture dur­ing its main plant­ing sea­son.

The of­fi­cial Korean Cen­tral News Agency said the drought has caused about 30% of its rice pad­dies to dry up. Young rice plants nor­mally need to be par­tially sub­merged in wa­ter dur­ing the early sum­mer.

South Korea’s Uni­fi­ca­tion Min­istry said pre­cip­i­ta­tion in North Korea was ab­nor­mally low in May, and food pro­duc­tion could de­cline sig­nif­i­cantly if the short­age con­tin­ued. A min­istry of­fi­cial said he couldn’t con­firm North Korea’s claim that it was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing its worst drought in a cen­tury.

The United Na­tions said in April that about 70% of North Korea’s peo­ple face food in­se­cu­rity, and more than a quar­ter of chil­dren younger than 5 ex­pe­ri­ence chronic malnutrition.

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