World Bulletin / News Desk
Monsoon-like rain swept across the Korean Peninsula on Saturday, providing much-needed relief just as a United Nations agency warned that North Korea is facing a 12 percent rice harvest reduction due to drought.
An unusually dry spell in recent months has left both Koreas seeking answers. While the South’s questions are about how best to support struggling farmers and manage water resources, survival is at stake for people in the North.
Pyongyang’s official KCNA news agency reported Wednesday that North Korea was experiencing its “worst drought” in a century.
Considering the country’s devastating famine of the 1990s, which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, Pyongyang’s announcement raised global concern.
Even though the North has advanced farming methods since the 1990s, UN agency the Food and Agriculture Organization cautioned Saturday that other crops could also be damaged by drought.
The major issue raised by the organization’s report concerns North Korean rice production, which is set to come in at 2.3 million tons this year -- an annual drop of 0.3 million tons as a quarter of the country’s rice paddies have been hit by drought.
Not that the UN was unaware of the North’s food shortage, having started a campaign two months ago to raise $111 million as 18 million North Koreans are thought to be lacking in secure access to food.
China did also vow this week to stand by its traditional ally, but critics have pointed out that Pyongyang is ignoring UN resolutions and sanctions by pursuing its military-first policy of developing nuclear weapons when resources could be put to better use.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Haziran 2015, 11:03