N. Korea stresses accurate weather forecasts for agriculture during monsoon season

North Korea
Photo: Yonhap

North Korea on Friday stressed the need for swift and accurate weather forecasts, as heavy rain likely to fall during the summer monsoon season could seriously affect the country's agriculture, Yonhap reports. 

The Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper, reported that having accurate weather forecasts is a matter of survival for the agricultural sector, which is gravely affected by weather conditions.

North Korea held a science conference on weather and ocean earlier this week in a bid to explore ways to minimize damage from typhoons, heavy rain, droughts and heat waves, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

North Korea is vulnerable to flash flooding and heavy rain due to poor irrigation and deforestation. The country has been suffering from chronic food shortages that were aggravated amid global sanctions on its nuclear and missile programs and unfavorable weather.

Typhoon Bolaven and heavy rain left around 300 people dead and some 600 injured or missing during June-August 2012, South Korea's unification ministry said, citing North Korea's state media.

In 2020, North Korea was hit by three consecutive typhoons in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Downpours pounded the western province of Hwanghae, considered the country's breadbasket.

Last year, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scolded Premier Kim Tok-hun for his "irresponsible" attitude over failure to prevent damage to farmland from Typhoon Khanun.

At the latest plenary party meeting, Kim said that "the farming situation throughout the country up to now is fairly good," calling for further efforts to ramp up crop output.

The North's crop production is estimated to have increased 310,000 tons on-year to 4.82 million tons last year, according to South Korea's Rural Development Administration.

Still, it was below 5.76 million tons, the annual amount that the North needs to feed its people, according to a projection by the Food and Agriculture Organization for North Korea.

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