Floods in North Korea: Kim Jong-un orders full state support

SEOUL, Aug. 08 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered full state support for reconstruction efforts in the flood-hit South Hamgyong province, as the country convened an emergency meeting of the province’s military commission to draw up plans for repairs, the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Sunday.

About 1,170 homes were destroyed or flooded and some 5,000 residents were evacuated and vast farmlands were flooded after 307 millimeters of rain fell in the province on Aug. 1 and 2, according to media reports earlier.

The Military Commission of South Hamgyong Province of the Workers’ Party met Thursday and discussed “technical issues while a formation of construction forces will be dispatched to the affected areas quickly,” according to KCNA.

North Korea’s top leader did not attend the meeting but “issued an order to provide strong national material and financial support to South Hamgyong Province in this repair campaign,” including the release of state reserves to urgently provide basic materials needed for repairs, KCNA said.

“It was said at the meeting that upon receiving the news about the damage caused by the heavy rains in the province, respected General Secretary Kim Jong-un clarified the direction and means of repairing the damage several times and took measures to bring much-needed materials for it,” KCNA said.

“It was also stressed that he called on officials of city and county committees and Party organizations to conduct the recovery campaign with skill and flexibility,” it added.

During the meeting, it was decided to organize a “powerful command team for damage recovery” in the province, with the adoption of “a decision to complete the recovery work by the anniversary of the founding of the Party on October 10,” KCNA explained.

Details of the damage caused by the heavy rains were not disclosed.

North Korea has recently stepped up calls for flood prevention efforts to prevent further damage to key agricultural areas like those caused by successive typhoons last year.

Last week, KCNA reported that a southwestern region of the country, known as the country’s breadbasket, has been placed on alert for flooding.

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