Ten million North Koreans in 'dire need' of food after worst drought since 1982

·Contributor
A farmer spreads fertilizer on a rice field in Sariwon, North Korea (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
A farmer spreads fertilizer on a rice field in Sariwon, North Korea (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Almost half of all North Koreans are in dire need of food because of the country’s worst drought in four decades.

Some forty per cent of the population urgently “need food assistance” after the UN said that up to 10 million North Koreans are affected.

North Korea’s population is around 25 million.

Pyongyang has called on people to “battle” against the drought and crop damage.

North Korean farmers (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
North Korean farmers (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

“As yet, it's not really clear how bad things are as, with everything related to North Korea, the data is hardly transparent," Oliver Hotham from NK News told the BBC.

Official data is accurate suggests North Korea needs to import as much as 1.5 million tonnes of food to make up for the shortfall in production.

In the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans died in a devastating famine.

According to North Korean state media, just 21 inches of rain has fallen so far this year, the lowest amount of rainfall since 1982.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump earlier this year (KCNA).
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump earlier this year (KCNA).

The country's leading newspaper Rodong Sinmun added that “water is needed now more than ever”, saying the country was in a "fierce battle" to prevent drought damage.

Last month, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) and its Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a joint report that North Korea's crop output in 2018 hit the lowest level since 2008.

It comes as the country still suffers from sanctions.

These have been boosted in an effort to choke off funding for Pyongyang's nuclear programme with the effect of reducing North Korea’s exports, potentially restricting its ability and to buy food imports.

---Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK---

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting