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North Korea has been facing persistent pressure because of Kim Jong-un’s aggressive stance towards the international community with his nuclear aspirations. The US and its allies have levied severe sanctions on Pyongyang but experts have warned the situation could spiral out of control should Typhoon Bavi spark intense floods across the rogue nation. Speaking to CND, University of Central Lancaster expert Dr Sojin Lim said: “This typhoon reminds me of what happened in North Korea in the late 1990s. North Korea had a severe famine added up with the flood and this typhoon will have the same or even worst level of influence.”
Dr Sojin said Bavi would add to the damage an earlier typhoon caused across North Korea and pose a significant threat to the already meager food stocks the country has.
She continued: “This is not the first typhoon North Korea has had. Right before North Korea had another typhoon, so the situation would be really serious, especially in terms of the food shortage.
“North Korea doesn’t have enough food in saving because there has been a lack of fertiliser due to the sanctions so food shortages will be the most serious problem.
“Also, because of the water situation due to the floods from the typhoon, people will have less access to hospitals and other necessary places. So this will be a huge effect.”
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The academic also suggested Kim Jong-un could ask its only ally in the region, China, for support to overcome the impact of the typhoon.
She added: “It’s isn’t known if China send out food aid to North Korea.
“Some NGOs are looking for the lifting of sanctions in targeted areas because at the moment even humanitarian aid can’t reach North Korea.”
The South Korean Meteorological Administration warned Bavi had already begun to unleash strong winds across the souther island of Jeju, adding the typhoon was expected to make landfall in North Korean on Thursday.
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Kim Jong-un told senior officials earlier this week to prepare for severe damage to the agricultural sector.
State media quoted the leader insisting mitigation “is important work which can never be neglected even for a moment for our party, bearing the responsibility fo the destiny of the people.”
United Nations spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said the organisation has been in contact with Pyongyang authorities to provide flood support should they require it.
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Kim also demanded officials dial up the response strategy to the coronavirus pandemic as he appeared to concede there have been shortcomings in the management of the outbreak.
The emergency meeting marked Kim’s return to the public sphere after new rumours suggested the North Korean leader had plunged into a coma.
The allegation was made by South Korean diplomat Chang Song-min, who worked for the country’s former president Kim Dae-jung.
But the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) released a new set of pictures of Kim Jong-un as he addressed his advisers on Tuesday to dismiss the claims.
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