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Floods

Floods in North Korea

North Korea, a country that rarely leaks information to the outside world, is suffering from a flood which devastates the livelihood of thousands of people. This changed when Reuters reported on the floods in North Korea on the 28 July. As result articles on the natural disaster were published in several (online) newspapers and magazines, such as SPIEGEL (28 July), The New York Times (29 July), Homepage of the ARD (29 July) and on Aljazeera (29 July). But since 03 August the media seems to have actually discovered the theme. If the comparison would not be unappropriate, one could say a wave of reports broke out since then: 03 August: BBC; 04 August: The Guardian, The Telegraph, Der Standard, Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, The Huffington Post, the ORF, Die PresseCBC; 05 August: CNN. It is questionable whether the distributed information is complete, correct and without euphemisms. And it is also not given that the flooding will cause long-term migration of the affected people, however thousands of people are already displaced and have lost their home and livelihood.

The World Food Programm decided that food packages will be delivered to the most affected people (see Reliefweb) and, as a result, the borders will be opened for a very short period of time. However, it is very unlikely that the political and economical situation within the country will change due to that. Because of the agriculture and deforestation the rain could not seep into the surface and these circumstances have caused the devastating floods (see explanation on umweltmigration.org). If the country does not invest in new technology North Korea will not be able to nuture its population for a longer period. The country had already relied on food aid, for instance from the U.S. and South Korea, since the hunger of the 1990s. The aid was suspended in spring 2012.

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