U.N.: North Korean food crisis may worsen

Oct. 24, 2008 at 12:43 PM
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PYONGYANG, North Korea, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- The United Nations says the ongoing food crisis in North Korea could get worse due to an expected food shortfall in the near future.

The international group said in a news report released this week that the food shortfall in North Korea could potentially exceed 1.5 million tons by the end of the year, The New York Times reported Friday.

"Sadly, even though the harvest was getting better, we have had devastating floods in 2006 and 2007," report author Vitit Muntarbhorn said. "Over the past year we have had very worrying information of a very chronic food shortage."

The U.N. report said more than 75 percent of all North Korean households have begun rationing food to the point that little more than half of all households eat only two meals a day.

Muntarbhorn told the Times while programs such as the World Food Program are attempting to assist such households, the North Korean military hasn't been targeted by cutbacks during the ongoing crisis.

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