Two UN Agencies Assist in North Korea Floods

SEOUL, South Korea

North Korea’s state media (KCNA) has reported that the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF) are to offer assistance in post-disaster recovery efforts in the country’s North Hamgyong Province

KCNA also reported last week that regional ally China has offered relief.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho appealed for UN assistance during meetings with officials at the recent United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Typhoon Lionrock struck North Korea in late August, with flooding in the north of the country first reported on August 29th. The weather event was described as the “heaviest downpour” in the country since the end of the Second World War. Poor infrastructure and deforestation have made the country particularly vulnerable to flooding.

The central government in Pyongyang deployed substantial military resources to reopen roads and distribute relief goods and building materials.

The South Korean Government has refused aid to its northerly neighbor and condemned North Korea for pouring money into its nuclear program while neglecting the suffering of its people in the flood-hit areas.

Radio Free Asia, a US government agency, has this week suggested in separate reports that North Korea's water may be contaminated by radioactive waste and cholera, stories which have been re-published in UK tabloid newspapers.

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