Saturday, June 20, 2015

China offers free food to North Korea

China on Friday said it would offer food aid to North Korea which has declared one of its worst droughts in a century.

Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, was quoted as saying in Beijing that the Chinese side was willing to provide assistance at the request of North Korea.

“We hope that the government and people of North Korea overcome over the disaster at an early date,” Lu said.

A report says the worst drought in a century is drying up vast expanses of North Korea’s agricultural fields.

“More than one-third its paddy fields were “parching up,” leading to fears of food shortages, with authorities attempting to grow substitute crops for the lost rice,” the report said.

Relations with China, historically one of communist North Korea’s few international allies, have recently been strained over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes.

North Korea rarely speaks openly of its chronic food shortages.

Relief supplies have in the past been the subject of diplomatic negotiations.

A widespread famine in the 1990s is believed to have caused the death of hundreds of thousands of North Koreans.

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