About 10 million people in North Korea were in urgent need of food assistance as the country's farming has apparently been affected by years-long "dry" and "irregular" climate patterns, according to a UN AGENCY.
"Dry weather persisted throughout the first half of 2019 in North Korea after two consecutive years of dry conditions and irregular weather patterns," Yonhap News Agency reported on Thursday citing the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as saying.
North Korea is one of 44 countries in need of external food assistance: FAO
"On average, only 56.3 mm of rainfall in the country from January to March 2019, which is the lowest on record since 1917. About 10 million people urgently require food assistance," the WMO noted. North Korea has claimed it had a bumper crop last year, but it is known to be struggling with chronic food shortages caused by drought and other unfavoUrable weather conditions. A lack of necessary farming materials, including fertilizer, amid global sanctions has also been cited as a factor that hampers farming.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), another UN agency, recently said in a report that North Korea is one of 44 countries in need of external food assistance. Last April, the FAO and the World Food Programme jointly conducted a survey of food situations in the North and said that around 40 percent of the North's population of some 25 million was estimated to be "food insecure".