North Korea says it's suffering worst drought in decades

NKOREA-AGRICULTURE-RICE People take part in an annual rice planting event in Nampho City in Chongsan-ri, near Nampho. The country is currently facing its worst drought | AFP

According to reports by Korean Central News Agency, North Korea is facing its worse drought in nearly four decades. The country is already facing an acute food crisis.

An average of 54.4 millimeters (2.1 inches) of rain fell throughout the country in the first five months of this year, the lowest level since 1982. The drought is expected to continue until the end of May.

The country has had one of the worst harvests in a decade.

UN food agencies had said that about 10 million people in North Korea were facing "severe food shortages"

In February, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations, Kim Song, issued an unusual appeal for urgent food assistance.

According to Red Cross, four in ten people are in urgent need of food assistance. The organisation fears for well-being of pregnant and breastfeeding women, and also for children whose growth is already stunted due to malnutrition.

With North Korean leadership focusing more on nuclear weapons, the food shortage is being gravely ignored. Experts are predicting lack of snow during the winter leaving crops exposed to freezing temperatures.