N. Korea may lose 700,000 tonnes in crops: report

SEOUL - North Korea could lose about 700,000 tonnes of its annual harvest because of a severe drought this spring and early summer, according to a South Korean report published Tuesday.

Due to the drought in May and June, the summer harvest of wheat, barley and potatoes fell by about 200,000 tonnes, the state-run Korea Rural Economic Institute said.

The North may lose about 400,000 tonnes from the autumn harvest of beans, maize and rice, while another 100,000 tonnes of non-grain products is also expected to be lost, it said.

North Korea suffers chronic food shortages, with the situation exacerbated by floods, droughts and mismanagement. During a famine in the mid to late-1990s, hundreds of thousands died.

UN agencies said in June that about one in three children aged under five are stunted because of malnutrition.

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