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North Korea says it is suffering worst drought in decades

AP  |  Seoul 

has said it is suffering its worst in nearly four decades amid reports of shortages.

The official Agency said an average of 54.4 millimeters (2.1 inches) of rain fell throughout the country in the first five months of this year. It said that is the lowest level since 1982, when received 51.2 millimeters (2 inches) of rain on average during the same period.

The report came on Wednesday after UN agencies said in a joint assessment earlier this month that about 10 million people in were facing "severe shortages" after the country had one of the worst harvests in a decade.

In February, North Korea's to the United Nations, Kim Song, issued an unusual appeal for

North Korean officials have blamed the on bad weather and international economic sanctions that were toughened after the country conducted a series of high-profile nuclear and missile tests in recent years.

In a high-stakes summit in in February, rejected North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's call for an easing of the sanctions in return for dismantling his main nuclear complex, a partial disarmament step.

KCNA said the is expected to continue until the end of May. North Korea's main newspaper reported Wednesday that officials and workers are attempting to find new sources and mobilise pumps and to minimise the damage to agriculture.

North Korea suffered a devastating famine in the mid-1990s that is estimated to have killed hundreds of thousands of people.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 08:45 IST