'Extreme drought' in North Korea

From January to early May this year North Korea only received 54.4 millimetres of rain or snow the smallest amount since the same period in 1982

From January to early May this year North Korea only received 54.4 millimetres of rain or snow the smallest amount since the same period in 1982

North Korea said Wednesday it is suffering its worst drought in almost four decades amid reports of severe food shortages.

Seoul in 2017 had aimed to send US$4.5 million (S$6.16 million) worth of nutritional products to North Korea through the WFP, but that never happened partially due to Pyongyang's nuclear tests that year. It said that is the lowest level since 1982, when North Korea received 51.2 millimeters (2 inches) of rain on average during the same period.

The assessment refers to the two United Nations agencies' joint report that said the impoverished country is facing its worst harvest in 10 years this year due to prolonged dry spells and abnormally high temperatures, coupled with limited supplies of agricultural inputs.

North Korean officials have blamed the food shortage on bad weather and global economic sanctions that were toughened after the country conducted a series of high-profile nuclear and missile tests in recent years.

Mr. Trump will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss efforts to rein in North Korea's missile program and nuclear ambitions.

It says the drought is expected to continue until the end of May. North Korea's main Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported Wednesday that officials and workers are attempting to find new water sources and mobilize pumps and irrigation equipment to minimize the damage to agriculture.

Early seasonal drought in the North this year could exacerbate "hunger, malnutrition and health problems" for "thousands of children, pregnant and breastfeeding women" in North Korea, the International Federation of Red Cross said last week.

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