North Korea says floods killed 169, left 400 missing


Inspectors from the United Nations nuclear watchdog,the International Atomic Energy Agency, were expelled from North Korea for the second time three years ago.


Mark Ralston

The floods that ravaged North Korea in recent weeks have killed 169, and left 400 missing, the state news agency said on Saturday, updating earlier casualty figures.

According to the AFP, the floods have left 212,000 people homeless and washed away 161,310 acres of crop land, and the United Nations has declared that North Korea needs immediate food assistance.

The Independent reported that the flooding occurred after a severe drought, and has now renewed fears about North Korea's ability to feed its people. A previous UN report in June said that two thirds of the country are dealing with chronic food shortages.

According to the BBC, North Korea relies on food aid because it cannot grow enough food to feed its 24 million people.  

Victims will get 14 ounces of maize per day for two weeks.

A recent UN mission in flood-affected regions found considerable damage to maize, soybean and rice fields. The World Food Program said it would continue to monitor the situation.

A more comprehensive assessment of the situation and of prospects for food production is scheduled for September.