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North Korea warns of torrential rain after weeks of drought

North Korea warns of torrential rain after weeks of drought
North Korean authorities said the country must prepare for heavy rains if it is to meet its agricultural targets. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 2 (UPI) -- North Korea said the country must prepare for typhoons and potential flooding in August after weeks of record-high temperatures that may have damaged crops.

North Korean meteorologist Ri Song Min said in an interview with Workers' Party paper Rodong Sinmun that heavy rain is expected in the weeks ahead in some parts of the country.

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Jong In Nam, director of Pyongyang's Ministry of Agriculture, said in the same article that the rice harvest "could suffer setbacks" due to potential flood damage.

The country's response to the next natural disaster will determine whether its Five-Year Plan will succeed, Jong said, according to state media.

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Climate change has been blamed for the rise in natural disasters in North Korea. Last year, floods destroyed hundreds of North Korean single-story homes. Korea Central Television at the time also showed miles of submerged farmland after weeks of torrential rain.

"We must once again etch into our bones that agriculture is created by people, not by the heavens," Jong said.

Jong also said the country must "strengthen scientific farming methods" so that the nation "can respond promptly to any catastrophic weather conditions."

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Extreme weather previously has been linked to North Korea's dwindling food supply. Last week, state media said daytime temperatures exceeded 97.7 degrees Fahrenheit, "impeding the growth of rice" and "drying out corn leaves."

Hot dry weather was the primary concern as recently as Sunday, when KCNA reported officials had called on the population to "prevent the drought damage to crops."

North Korea was doubly hit in 2020. After mid-summer floods destroyed farmland, Typhoon Bavi brought more torrential rain in late August, causing widespread flooding.

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Last year, top North Korean officials, including Ri Pyong Chol, visited areas hit by Bavi. Kim Jong Un also visited South Hwanghae Province in August 2020.

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