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N.K. paper urges efforts to maximize rice production despite typhoon damage

North Korea 08:48 September 21, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper called Monday for efforts to maximize harvests despite damage from recent typhoons, saying that securing sufficient rice is a key to building a strong socialist country.

North Korea was hit by three consecutive typhoons in recent weeks that devastated its rice-producing areas in its western and eastern provinces, raising worries that a decrease in harvests could aggravate its chronic food shortage.

"Rice is our power and dignity," the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling party, said. "To successfully build a powerful socialist country on its own requires none other than a sufficient amount of food.

"At a time when recent natural disasters caused not a little damage to crops, all-out efforts should be focused on harvesting and threshing in a short period of time to minimize damage and a decline in production," the paper added.

The recent typhoons hit North Korea as it was struggling to stave off an outbreak of the coronavirus. Border closures put in place since early this year as part of antivirus efforts have reportedly been taking a toll on the North's imports of key materials, including food.

A U.S. government report earlier said about 60 percent of North Korea's population is facing food insecurity as the global coronavirus pandemic appears to be affecting the country's food supplies.

State media have urged stepped-up efforts to minimize damage to crops and harvests, saying a sufficient stockpile of rice and food could help the push for self-reliance and self-prosperity against its enemies.


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