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North Korea sent military to flood-hit area, state media says

Kim Jong Un has ordered the delivery of essential supplies to populations affected by flooding in North Hwanghae Province, according to Pyongyang's state media. Photo by KCNA
Kim Jong Un has ordered the delivery of essential supplies to populations affected by flooding in North Hwanghae Province, according to Pyongyang's state media. Photo by KCNA

Aug. 10 (UPI) -- North Korea mobilized its military to take part in flood cleanup and recovery efforts in a region recently visited by Kim Jong Un.

Korean Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported Monday soldiers of the Korean People's Army were deployed to Taechongri, Unpa County, North Hwanghae Province, upon the orders of the North Korean leader.

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The article, which ran on the first page of the Rodong, said the troops "marched all night" to the county to assist the local population in the aftermath of recent floods.

North Korean field commanders have ordered military units to work on road restoration and to clear areas buried under hundreds of meters of mud, state media said.

RELATED Kim Jong Un takes luxury vehicle to flash-flood zone

Last week, Pyongyang's KCTV said more than 700 North Korean homes had been flooded and that miles of crops were submerged following weeks of heavy downpours.

Kim visited a village in the county and ordered the delivery of essential supplies and food, according to state media last week.

On Monday, the Rodong claimed the soldiers were assisting with the recovery like "gunpowder set on fire" and "digging ditches without worrying about adverse conditions, including incessant rain."

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Pak Myong Ho, head of the provincial department of the rural accounting committee in South Hwanghae Province, said workers are draining water from flooded rice paddies using drainage systems and pumping facilities, according to KCTV.

Workers are also directly spraying nutrients on crops, Pak said.

Unpa County is near North Korea's Hwanggang Dam, which may have been opened again without notifying the South.

RELATED South Korea president expresses regret over North's dam decision

South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported Monday water levels at the military demarcation line at the northern tip of the Imjin River have been rising rapidly. South Korean military authorities suspect the North has reopened the floodgates of the Hwanggang Dam despite warnings, according to the report.

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