NK reports 169 killed and hundreds missing in floods
A total of 169 people were killed and 400 others missing in heavy downpours that swept through large parts of North Korea in recent weeks, the country's media said Saturday.
The downpours between late June and the end of July also left 144 people injured and some 212,200 others homeless, the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said. About 8,600 homes were destroyed and 43,700 others submerged, it said.
Based on a field report by its team of experts who visited North Korea, the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) said Saturday it will send 336 tons of emergency food aid to help flood victims there.
The move came after the North filed a request for emergency aid earlier this week. The U.N. Resident Coordinator's Office in Pyongyang also called for immediate assistance after an on-site investigation.
Meanwhile, South Korea's unification ministry said on Friday it is not considering offering aid to the North. The ministry said, however, that there is no change in its policy of helping vulnerable North Koreans on purely humanitarian grounds if necessary.
Analysts say the flooding could pose a challenge to Kim Jong-un, the new North Korean leader who took over after his father Kim Jong-il died in December. (Yonhap)