SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Yonhap) -- North Korea faces a food shortage of 1.2 million to 1.3 million tons this year due to damage from last year's heavy downpours, the unification minister said Thursday.
Minister Lee In-young made the remarks during a plenary session of the diplomacy and unification committee at the National Assembly, attributing the cause of the increasing food shortage to damage from flooding and typhoons in the North last year.
"If we add the 200,000 to 300,000 tons (from the typhoon damage) to the approximately 1 million ton annual shortage, we can estimate the North's food shortage," he said.
North Korea was hit hard by flooding prompted by back-to-back typhoons from July to September last year, which experts presume to have devastated large swaths of farming areas and further accelerated the North's chronic food shortage problem.
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