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N.K.'s infant mortality 8 times higher than S. Korea: U.S. civic group

All Headlines 13:41 October 06, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's mortality rates for infants and mothers are far higher than those in South Korea, with the deaths of North Korean infants younger than a year old occurring eight times more than those in the South, a U.S. broadcaster reported Thursday, citing a U.S. civic group survey.

Quoting the World Population Data 2016, published by the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau recently, the Voice of America (VOA) said 25 North Korean infants out of every 1,000 die as of 2015, compared to three in the South. It marked the highest rate in East Asia.

The North's mortality rate for infants aged under five was 29 out of every 1,000, seven time higher than those in the South.

North Korea topped the list of East Asian countries with 82 maternal deaths per 100,000 births, trailed by South Korea with 11.

The survey also revealed that the North's life expectancy was estimated at 66 for men and 74 for women, compared with 79 for men and 86 for women in the South.

Toshiko Kaneda, a researcher at the bureau, told the VOA that the North lower life expectancy is attributed to its residents' malnutrition and worsened health conditions caused by food shortages that have hit the North since the early 1990s.

namsh@yna.co.kr
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