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Summary of domestic news in North Korea this week

All News 16:00 August 14, 2020

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of domestic news in North Korea this week.

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N. Korea sends relief supplies to Kaesong under virus lockdown

SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's ruling party has delivered relief supplies including rice to Kaesong, the North's city near the western inter-Korean border under lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the country's main news outlet said Sunday.

A train carrying special supplies such as rice provided by the Workers' Party of Korea arrived at Kaesong station late Friday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

The provision was made two days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered special aid to the border city at a meeting of an executive policy bureau of the party held in Pyongyang on Wednesday.

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N. Korea sends military to flood-damaged area for recovery work after heavy rain

SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has sent military troops to a flood-affected area to help with the recovery efforts following days of heavy downpours, its state media reported Sunday.

In an article carried by Rodong Sinmun, the main organ of the North's ruling Workers' Party of Korea, military units were dispatched to a county in the southwestern North Hwanghae Province to carry out recovery work.

"Military units that will be mobilized for reconstruction are arriving in damaged areas one after the other," the newspaper said. "Upon arrival, as soon as they took off their backpacks, the soldiers went to restore roads, banks and ground."

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N.K. leader's reserve grain arrives at flood-hit village to help victims

SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- A shipment of grain that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un promised to provide for flood victims has reached those in need, state media reported Monday, stressing that the aid shows the leader's "great loving care" for his people.

Kim promised to release grain from his own special stock for flood victims during a visit last week to the Taechong-ri area of Unpha County in North Hwanghae Province, where more than 900 homes and 600 hectares of rice fields were inundated after a dyke broke.

On Monday, the Korean Central News Agency reported that trucks carrying grain arrived at Unpha County on Sunday morning, and a ceremony was held for "conveying the solicitude shown by the Supreme Leader for the people."

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Heavy rains continue to pound flood-stricken North Korea

SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- Heavy rains poured down again on Monday in southern parts of North Korea, including its main agricultural region, which have been already hit hard by recent downpours, its state news agency said.

The Korean Central Television Broadcasting Station reported that as much as 200 millimeters of rain, along with strong winds, pounded parts of Hwanghae and Gangwon provinces.

The network forecast up to 70 mm of more rain to fall overnight, calling on people to be vigilant against flooding.

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N.K.'s official paper urges efforts to minimize flood-caused damage on farming

SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper called Tuesday for stepped-up efforts to minimize flood-caused damage to the farming sector as the country is struggling to cope with recent heavy downpours.

North Korea has recently been hit hard by heavy rains in many regions, including rice-producing areas in its southern parts. On Monday, state media reported that the North received as much as 200 millimeters of rain in Hwanghae and Kangwon provinces and forecast around 70 mm of rain would fall overnight.

"Once rice is under water, it would lead to a loss in the crop yield," the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling party, said in an article. "In this sense, draining water (from rice paddy) would be a major factor that will determine whether this year's crop production objective would be met."

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Top N.K. official visits flood-hit area, calls for quick rehabilitation

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- A top North Korean official visited a flood-hit county in the country's western area, calling for stepped-up efforts to quickly rehabilitate the damage caused by recent heavy downpours, state media said Wednesday.

Pak Pong-ju, vice chairman of the State Affairs Commission, toured various places, including a co-op farm, in Taechong-ri of Unpha County in North Hwanghae Province and learned "in detail about flood damage and the rehabilitation," according to the Korean Central News Agency.

"He underlined the need to rearrange all the waterways in the farm under a well-worked-out plan, minimize the damage in the rainy season by quickly rehabilitating the drain pumping stations, and take scientific and technological care for the healthy growth of flood-afflicted crops," the KCNA said.

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N.K. leader warns against accepting outside flood aid due to virus risk

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the country suffered serious damage from recent heavy downpours, but it should not accept any outside assistance due to the coronavirus risk, state media reported Friday.

Kim made the remark while presiding over a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party on Thursday to discuss measures to recover from the flood, stressing the importance of not letting up on COVID-19 prevention efforts, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

"The worsening coronavirus situation around the globe calls for tighter border closures and stricter virus prevention measures, and not allowing any outside assistance whatsoever regarding the flood damage," Kim said during the meeting, according to the KCNA.
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