North Korean drought has not slowed its nuclear program

North Korea is facing severe food shortages after being hit by its worst drought since 2001, a report from the United Nations says.

Crop production in the country has been hampered by a prolonged dry period and food imports are now urgently required to fill the gap, the UN has warned.

The most vulnerable, such as children and the elderly, will be worst hit.

In the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are believed to have died during a widespread famine.

The latest drought is serious, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Thursday, because bilateral food aid to the country has dramatically fallen in recent years.

This is due in part to sanctions implemented to punish North Korea over its weapons development programme. The UN's World Food Program (WFP) has also seen a steep drop in contributions, the agency says.

A persistent lack of rainfall in North Korea in recent months has decimated staple crops such as rice, maize, potatoes and soybean, which many of the country's citizens depend on during the lean season that stretches from May to September.

In key crop-producing areas, rainfall from April to June 2017 was well below the long-term average. This severe dry spell disrupted the early stages of the agricultural process, according to experts from the FAO quoted in the report.

The harvesting of crops from the early season, including wheat, barley and potatoes, has also been affected, the FAO said.

North Korea's ability to stave off famine has also been hampered in recent years by flooding, which destroys crops, along with homes and villages.
Acts of God have not been kind to the North Koreans in recent years and you can't eat nuclear weapons.  Other reports have also indicated that the North Korean troops are also starving.  South Korea needs to carefully guard its food distribution network.  In the event of an invasion, I suspect those will be one of the first targets of the North Korean troops.


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