North Korea steps up fight against drought
North Korea is stepping up its fight against drought as a prolonged dry spell in the rice-planting season could deal a blow to food production and negatively impact the rule of the its new young leader.
The impoverished nation's main Rodong Sinmun newspaper, state television and other media outlets are urging citizens to utilize every possible source of water to irrigate rice paddies, while also offering advice on how to help other crops overcome drought.
Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said western regions of the North have received little rain for a month since April 26. If no rain falls by the end of the month, it will be the driest May for most western regions of the nation since 1962, the agency said.
New leader Kim Jong-un has stressed the importance of food production in the two personal statements he has made to the people this year. A bad harvest could deal a blow to his regime as he tries to consolidate his grip on power.
The North has relied on outside food aid to feed its 24-million population since natural disasters and mismanagement devastated its economy in the mid-1990s. (Yonhap)