Aug 08, 2021 08:52 UTC
  • North Korea leader mobilizes military for relief work in flood-hit areas

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un has mobilized the military to carry out relief work in areas recently hit by heavy rains, amid concerns over food shortages.

Kim issued the order on Sunday to “render powerful national material and financial support to South Hamgyong Province in its recovery campaign,” according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

North Korean officials conveyed Kim's message during a meeting of the ruling Worker's Party's Central Military Commission on Sunday.

Kim himself did not attend the meeting, according to the KCNA.

More than a thousand homes were damaged and about 5,000 people evacuated after heavy rains caused flooding in the southern province, the news agency reported, adding that “hundreds of hectares of farmland" were submerged or lost in the region.

Officials discussed "emergency measures to promptly stabilize the living of people in the disaster-hit areas, further tightening emergency epidemic prevention work and minimizing the damage to crops," the report said.

Natural disasters tend to have a greater impact on North Korea, which is under harsh United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs. The US has spearheaded those sanctions and has imposed several rounds of its own.

North Korea admitted it was facing a food crisis in June.

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization forecast in a report last month that the North was facing a food shortage of around 860,000 tons this year.