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N. Korea requests food aid from Mongolia: media report

All Headlines 16:56 April 22, 2013

SEOUL, April 22 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has recently requested food aid from Mongolia, citing a food shortage the country may face, according to a Mongolian Internet news outlet on Monday.

The request was made by Hong Gyu, the North Korean ambassador to Mongolia, during his meeting on April 16 with the country's President Ts. Elbegdorj to present a letter of credence, according to an article by InfoMongolia.com

"At the conclusion, North Korean Ambassador to Ulan Bator Hong Gyu said North Korea may face a severe food shortage. Therefore, we ask Mongolia to seek possibilities of delivering food aid to North Korea," the article said.

Food assistance and other aid to the impoverished country from the outside world ground to a halt after the North conducted its third nuclear test on Feb. 12 in defiance of the international community's warnings.

During the meeting with the Mongolian president, the North Korean envoy also "conveyed the greetings of the young supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, and by delivering greetings confirmed Kim's invitation to the president to visit North Korea," according to the media.

Hong noted Pyongyang's pledge to accelerate its economic reform and the president expressed his country's interest in sharing its economic reform experience, it also said.

They also discussed the on-going tensions on the Korean Peninsula and the Mongolian president "expressed Mongolia's readiness to contribute to solve the dispute in a peaceful way," the news outlet said.

North Korea's Korean Central Television also reported the meeting last week, but it did not refer to the food aid request.

The two countries have maintained friendly relations since they established diplomatic ties in 1948.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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