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Rice prices stabilizing in N. Korea flood hit areas: report

All News 11:40 October 02, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 2 (Yonhap) -- Rice prices are stabilizing in flood ravaged areas of North Korea, after they soared following problems with distribution, a media report said Sunday.

Citing a report by Japanese media outlet Asia Press, U.S.-based media Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that a kilogram of rice in Musan, North Hamgyong Province, was selling for 4,300 North Korean won, with the same amount of corn trading for 1,300 won. This is down from 8,000 won for rice and 2,000 won for corn traded in the same county earlier in the year after torrential rains and floods disrupted food supplies reaching the remote northwestern part of North Korea.

Jiro Ishimaru, who heads the Osaka office of Japan's Asia Press, told the RFA that grain prices seem to have fallen to pre-flood levels. He then cited insiders reporting from the reclusive country that said while rice is not plentiful, shipments are arriving in stricken areas, which is lowering prices.

Besides food prices, the media outlet said that North Korean authorities tried to give precedence in regards to rations to people who lost their homes due to the floods but because so many people lined up to get free food, it was forced to reconsider the practice.

According to some estimates, the floods caused by heavy rains accompanied by Typhoon Lionrock left more than 500 people dead or missing, and more than 140,000 others homeless.


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