June 29 (UPI) -- North Korea is struggling with a drought on a "daily basis," according to state media.
Pyongyang's Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun stated Thursday workers and volunteers have been mass mobilized to work on watering more than 90 square miles of farmland across the country.
The state-controlled paper claimed a "powerful demonstration" of "solidarity among county residents" had yielded "continuous results" after they worked together to water the fields.
Official recognition of a severe drought comes at a time when sources in the country say authorities are restricting movement and forcing marketplaces to close early.
The ban on movement began in April, according to a source in North Korea's Yanggang Province. In June, the drought was used as an "excuse" to disallow movement, while in May "military tensions between North and South" was the reason cited for requiring ordinary North Koreans to not roam beyond their home base, Radio Free Asia reported Thursday.
RFA's source also said drought volunteers were allowed to go home more than a week ago, but authorities are now banning domestic travel until July 8, the death anniversary of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung.
"The inspection of lodging, the vetting of local residents, are happening without warning," the source said.
A source in the country's Jagang Province said business hours at marketplaces are being restricted.
Stores are being allowed to stay open only from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
"People are facing difficulties in maintaining their livelihood," the source said.
North Korea is reportedly mobilizing not only adults, but also students to work on drought relief projects.
One source in North Hamgyong Province said the area "didn't have a single drop of rain," according to RFA.