North Korea’s Ambassador to Tehran, Kang Sam Hyon, met with Seyed Amir Mohsen Ziaee of Iran’s Red Crescent Society to request equipment in Pyongyang's fight against an ongoing drought. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
SEOUL, July 2 (UPI) -- Pyongyang reached out to Iran for support in its battle against a drought that is hitting North Korea's food supply.
North Korea's Ambassador to Tehran Kang Sam Hyon met with Seyed Amir Mohsen Ziaee of Iran's Red Crescent Society on Tuesday to request support, Voice of America reported.
Quoting Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency and Fars News Agency, VOA and South Korea press reported Pyongyang is specifically seeking "equipment," including farming tools, in order to curb the drought's harmful effects on North Korea's food supply.
Kang told Iran's Ziaee that North Korea needs "immediate help" in responding to the drought.
The North Korean envoy said his country is facing difficulties due to ongoing economic sanctions, but the drought is "unprecedented" in the toll it is taking on the isolated state, South Korean newspaper Kyunghyang Sinmun reported.
According to Iran's news agencies, Ziaee said the Red Crescent Society would do its best to help, after taking an assessment of the situation.
Ziaee said his organization had an obligation to help as a member of the international community that also provides humanitarian aid.
Lower-than-average levels of precipitation have affected North Korea's critical seed-planting stage that takes place between January and May. Rains fell up to 135.4 millimeters, or 5.3 inches during the season. That level is 74.2 percent of average historical rainfall.
South Korea recently said the North began facing a critical water shortage in 2014, and said it would send water pumps and seedlings for planting if North Korea agrees to accept the South's help.
North Korea's KCNA said in an announcement the drought facing the country is the worst in 100 years.