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Friday, August 07, 2020, 17:19
DPRK's Kim inspects flood relief; worry grows about crops
By Reuters
Friday, August 07, 2020, 17:19 By Reuters

Women walk with umbrellas during torrential rains in Pyongyang, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, on Aug 5, 2020. (CHA SONG-HO / AP)

SEOUL - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-un has ordered officials to provide food and shelter for hundreds of families who lost their homes in floods triggered by heavy rains, state news media KCNA reported on Friday.

Heavy rain across the Korean Peninsula has brought flooding to both DPRK and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in recent days, and concern is growing about damage to DPRK crops.

"It is of priority importance to quickly supply sleeping materials, daily commodities, medicines and other necessities to the flood-affected people to stabilize their living as early as possible," Kim Jong-un said in comments carried by KCNA

“It is of priority importance to quickly supply sleeping materials, daily commodities, medicines and other necessities to the flood-affected people to stabilize their living as early as possible," Kim said in a comments carried by KCNA.

Kim made the remarks while inspecting a flood-hit part of North Hwanghae province, on the border of ROK, as he "clarified tasks" for recovery work with officials there.

Torrential rain for several days has inundated more than 730 single-story houses, destroying 179 of them, and flooded rice-growing land, KCNA said.

There were no reports of casualties.

ALSO READ: DPRK declares emergency after suspected virus case reported

State television footage showed Kim visiting rural areas where a flooded river devastated farmlands and the roofs of some houses had collapsed.

Kim would also mobilize the army for rehabilitation, in particular work on homes and roads, and he called on architects to build 800 model houses in a badly hit farming village in Unpha County, KCNA said.

The rain during the harvest season in the rice-growing area is raising concern about DPRK's food security.

DPRK’s ruling party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, cited a study that in which it was said that rice and corn would suffer if the crops were under water for just two or three days.

"The fate of this year’s farming depends on how to protect farmland and crops from the flood,” the newspaper reports.

ROK on Thursday approved plans to donate US$10 million to help fund the UN World Food Programme (WFP) efforts to aid DPRK children and women.

Parts of ROK have seen over 40 consecutive days of rain, the longest monsoon since 2013, and continued precipitation across the Korean Peninsula threatens to bring new floods and landslides.

READ MORE: ROK searches for rescue workers missing in floods

ROK President Moon Jae-in on Friday designated seven hardest hit cities and counties as special disaster zones, which allows the areas to get more government aid.


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