Dry Spell Causes N. Korea to Face 15% Drop in Crop Production This Year
Since late April, North Korea has been experiencing unusually dry weather and the Korea Meteorological Administration expects the dry spell to continue on the Korean peninsula until the end of June.
South Korea's state-run Korea Rural Economic Institute says North Korea's barley and wheat production yields this year are expected to drop by 20 percent, with overall crop production down around 15 percent.
The institute adds that if the drought continues, North Korea may face a severe food shortage.
In the past, foreign aid helped North Koreans transition, but that won't be an easy task this time around.
The U.S. withdrew an agreement to send 240-thousand tons of food aid to North Korea earlier this year because Pyeongyang broke the Leap Year Agreement by conducting a long-range missile test.
This also made it tougher for the South Korean government to take any humanitarian action.
[Interview : Yang Moo-jin, Professor
Univ. of North Korean Studies] "A pledge not to conduct nuclear tests, and allowing IAEA inspectors to view the Yongbyeon nuclear power plant seems to be the request from the South Korean government."
South Korean experts say the drought, its worst in 50 years, is putting North Korea on the brink of famine as the situation is expected to get worse, considering the country is being faced with deteriorating food production conditions.
Kim Han-ul, Arirang News.
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