North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday ordered aid to be sent to areas of the country affected by flooding, which led to the evacuation of about 5,000 people.
Images shown the day before by the public network KCTV show homes submerged almost to the roof, as well as what appear to be bridges damaged by the storms. “Hundreds of hectares of farmland” were flooded in South Hamgyong Province and roads and homes were affected by the collapse of dams, according to the broadcaster.
Kim Jong Un admitted in June that the country is in a “tense food situation”. On Sunday, he ordered material and financial aid to be sent to South Hamgyong province, according to the state news agency KCNA.
Ri Yong Nam, deputy head of the North Korean weather service, announced that “heavy rains are expected by Aug. 10 in several regions, especially on the east coast,” according to KCTV.
According to projections by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO) released in July, North Korea will have a deficit of 860,000 tonnes of food this year. The agency warned that the country will go through “a difficult period of shortage between August and October.”
The North Korean regime, subject to international sanctions due to its banned military programs, has long-standing problems feeding its population, and regularly suffers from food shortages. The plight of the North Korean economy was aggravated by the orderly closure of borders to fight the pandemic and a series of floods in 2020.
North Korea experienced a massive famine in the 1990s, which caused hundreds of thousands of deaths as a result of reduced aid from Moscow after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
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