UN Agency Says Floods Damaged Key North Korean Croplands

Posted August 9th, 2011 at 5:35 am (UTC-5)
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A United Nations agency says heavy flooding in North Korea last month struck the nation's most important grain growing area, likely aggravating already severe food shortages.

The Food and Agriculture Organization said Tuesday that almost 60,000 hectares of cropland were affected by the flooding in the second and third weeks of July. It said there are not yet any precise estimates of losses but that low-lying rice and other paddy crops are likely to be most affected.

The FAO said the heavy rains could benefit crops in some other areas, and the net effect should be assessed later this year.

The United Nations has already concluded that more than 6 million people in North Korea are in urgent need of food assistance following damage to crops caused by severe winter weather.