Severe drought is reported
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.