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N. Korean newspaper calls for 'revolutionary' measures to fight drought

All Headlines 11:39 May 14, 2019

SEOUL, May 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's main newspaper called Tuesday for all-out efforts to come up with "revolutionary" measures to fight drought, saying nationwide damage is expected following a sharp drop in the country's average precipitation.

The Rodong Sinmun newspaper said crops are drying in regions where little rain fell last month, adding "water is needed now more than ever."

According to the North's state TV last week, across North Korea's regions, the average precipitation in the January-May period stood at 54.4 mm, only about 42.3 percent of that in previous years.

"The struggle to prevent damage from drought is a fierce battle against the nature to protect socialism," the newspaper said. "We need to put together revolutionary drought damage prevention measures so as to make the efforts we've put in so far bear good fruit in the fall."

The bad weather is having a detrimental impact on the North's already poor food security situation.

Earlier this month, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization said in a joint report that North Korea's crop output last year hit the lowest level since 2008. They added that an estimated 10 million people in North Korea, 40 percent of its population, are in urgent need of food.

WFP Executive Director David Beasley expressed grave concerns over the food shortages in North Korea in Seoul on Monday, and called for donations to help the impoverished country.

This image, captured from North Korean state television on May 12, 2019, shows a weather forecast the previous day saying that the average precipitation for the month is expected to drop sharply compared with the previous years. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

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