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US News North Korean heatwave could be 'catastrophic'

16:21  10 august  2018
16:21  10 august  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

Summer to return in time for the bank holiday as temperatures to reach 24C

  Summer to return in time for the bank holiday as temperatures to reach 24C More balmy weather is on the cards for the August bank holiday weekend after a soggy start to the week."It may not be completely dry but high pressure is expected to build and, if anything, it will get warmer over the weekend," Met Éireann forecaster Deirdre Lowe told the Irish Independent.

As about 70% of North Koreans are already "food insecure", meaning they struggle to find enough to eat, the IFRC believes the current heatwave could have "potentially catastrophic effects".

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Leader Kim Jong Un visits a factory © Reuters Leader Kim Jong Un visits a factory

A heatwave in North Korea is causing rice, maize and other crops to wither in fields, with charities warning it could lead to a "full-blown food security crisis".

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) says the isolated country has had no rainfall since early July, with temperatures reaching an average 39C (102F) nationwide.

As about 70% of North Koreans are already "food insecure", meaning they struggle to find enough to eat, the IFRC believes the current heatwave could have "potentially catastrophic effects".

Kim Jong Un visits a catfish plant © Reuters Kim Jong Un visits a catfish plant Currently, 25% of children under the age of five are thought to be stunted from chronic malnutrition.

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Back in the mid-1990s, a famine in North Korea killed up to three million people.

The IFRC has said recent sanctions imposed on the secretive state because of its nuclear and missile ambitions have worsened things further.

Joseph Muyamboit, the federation's programme manager in Pyongyang, said: "Previous serious dry spells have disrupted the food supply to a point where it has caused serious health problems and malnutrition across the country."

The IFRC says it is helping the national Red Cross to support 13,700 of the most vulnerable people at risk in two provinces - deploying emergency response teams and 20 water pumps to irrigate fields in the hardest-hit areas.

The country's leader, Kim Jong Un, smiled broadly recently as he visiting a catfish plant and a factory.

But last week, North Korea called for an "all-out battle" against the record temperatures threatening crops, and referred to an "unprecedented natural disaster".

Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang; date not yet fixed .
The rival Koreas have agreed to hold a third summit between their leaders in Pyongyang sometime before the end of September. The agreement comes amid an ongoing nuclear standoff between Washington and Pyongyang. The exact date of the summit wasn't announced. The push for what would be the leaders' third summit since April comes amid renewed worries surrounding a nuclear standoff between Washington and Pyongyang.

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