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N. Korean newspaper calls for all-out efforts to boost crop output

All Headlines 10:16 September 16, 2019

SEOUL, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's main newspaper called Monday for all-out efforts to increase grain output in the fall harvest season amid concern that production may drop after a powerful typhoon swept through the Korean Peninsula last week.

Quoting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as saying that the food issue is "the most desperate task" facing the country, the Rodong Sinmun said in an editorial that all workers in the agricultural sector should fill the "country's jar of rice" with patriotism and conscience.

"If we smoothly resolve the issue of food and eating, there is nothing to be scared of even if the hostile forces' sanctions last for 10 or 20 years," the editorial said.

It also emphasized the role of party and government officials, saying that becoming self-sufficient in food is the key to economic development and improvement in people's lives.

The editorial came after the powerful Typhoon Lingling hit the Korean Peninsula earlier this month, killing five people and damaging 458 square kilometers of land in North Korea, which is already struggling with worsening food shortages.

In May, the World Food Programme and the Food Agriculture Organization reported that the North's crop output last year hit the lowest level since 2008, with an estimated 10 million people, about 40 percent of the population, in urgent need of food.

This undated photo, released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Sept. 9, 2019, shows farmers picking up fallen rice at a paddy after the powerful Typhoon Lingling passed through the Korean Peninsula on Sept. 7. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

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