North Korea Says It's Suffering Worst Drought In Decades

North Korea

North Korea

North Korea says it is suffering its worst drought in almost four decades amid concern about a food crisis in the country.

The isolated, impoverished nation - which is under several sets of sanctions over its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes - has long struggled to feed itself and suffers chronic food shortages.

A number of global organisations, including the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), have said minor disasters, including drought, can significantly worsen and hamper food production in the country.

The official Korean Central News Agency said an average of 54.4 millimeters (2.1 inches) of rain fell throughout the country in the first five months of this year.

The inadequate crop production has left more than 10 million North Koreans to face "severe food shortages".

The WFP executive director David Beasley was in Seoul earlier this week, and said he is "very concerned" about food situation in the North during his meeting with the South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul.

"We recognize the assessment compiled by the World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization as official and objective indicators", Unification Ministry spokesperson Lee Sang-min told reporters during a regular press briefing.

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North Korea suffered a devastating starvation in the mid-1990s that is estimated to have killed hundreds of thousands of people.