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09 Aug 2012 description

The death toll after the flood disaster in North Korea has passed 170 according to official state media.

Listen: Thousands left homeless in North Korea flood disaster (Credit: ABC)

Another 400 people are unaccounted for and more than 200,000 are said to be homeless.

The floods were triggered by heavy rains towards the end of July and it's estimated that 600 square kilometres of farmland have been washed away.

01 Aug 2012 description

Updated 2 August 2012, 23:00 AEST

A clearer picture of the latest flood disaster to hit North Korea is slowly starting to emerge as the UN and aid organisations continue their assessments of the worst affected areas.

Listen: Resident aid agencies providing flood relief in North Korea (Credit: ABC)

01 Aug 2012 description

The full extent of the latest flood disaster in North Korea is still not clear, even after representatives from aid agencies and the UN Development Programme met government officials in Pyongyang.

Listen: Thousands displaced by North Korean floods (Credit: ABC)

Several regions have been badly affected by torrential rain and flooding, and tens of thousands of people are believed to have been forced to leave their homes.

21 Jun 2012 description

Experts are warning a severe drought is expected to worsen serious food shortages in North Korea as the UN food agency reports that three million people urgently need food aid.

A long dry spell has persisted throughout the North since late April, with some western coastal areas receiving just one tenth of the usual rainfall during the period, according to Pyongyang's state media.

Forecasters say the dry spell is likely to last at least another week.

25 Oct 2011 description

The United Nation's head of Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, has just ended a visit to North Korea, where she got a first hand look at the extent of the nation's food crisis.

The UN estimates up to a third of North Korean children under the age of five are malnourished.

North Korea has cut food rations for its population, and leader Kim Jong-il's visit to Russia in August reportedly did not result in the shipments of food aid requested.

Presenter: Tracee Hutchinson

05 Jul 2011 description

By Shane McLeod

Fears of mass starvation have led aid agencies to resume emergency food relief to North Korea.

Last month the ABC aired footage smuggled out of North Korea showing orphaned children begging for food and soldiers demanding bribes.

The European Union (EU) is among those to resume direct food aid, partially through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

WFP regional director for Asia Kenro Oshidari says North Korea faces two major problems - its annual food deficit and damage to crop harvests this year.

27 Jun 2011 description

By North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy

Footage shot inside North Korea and obtained by the ABC has revealed the extent of chronic food shortages and malnutrition inside the secretive state.

The video is some of the most revealing footage ever smuggled out of the impoverished North Korean state.

Shot over several months by an undercover North Korean journalist, the harrowing footage shows images of filthy, homeless and orphaned children begging for food and soldiers demanding bribes.

31 Jan 2011 description

Mark Willacy, North Asia correspondent

North Korea says it is experiencing its coldest winter on record, raising fears of worsening food shortages and famine.

The country's central newsagency says the average daily maximum for this month was minus five degrees Celsius, while Pyongyang hit a low of minus 18C.

It is the first time since records began in 1945 that temperatures have stayed below freezing for a whole month.

16 Jan 2011 description

North Korea has adopted a 10-year economic development plan, vowing to invest $100-billion in key sectors such as mining and agriculture.

The new economic plan aims to revitalise North Korea's agriculture and mining sectors.

It also calls for the construction of thousands of kilometres of roads, the renovation of the rail network and the production of millions of tonnes of iron.

The closed communist state hopes to lure $100-billion in investment over the next decade.

A Chinese state company recently pumped $2-billion into establishing a free trade zone in the North.

But …

21 Aug 2008 description

South Korean private groups have sent aid worth over 30 million dollars to impoverished North Korea this year despite frosty ties between the two governments.

Relations between Seoul and Pyongyang deteriorated when president Lee Myung-Bak took office in February promising a firmer line with the North.

South Korea previously provided the North with about 400 thousand tons of rice and 300 thousand tons of fertiliser annually, technically in the form of a loan.

But it says it cannot make the shipments until the North requests them.

North Korea which is again facing acute food …

30 Dec 2005 description

The United States has announced the suspension of its food aid programme to North Korea.

13 Jun 2005 description

A United Nations envoy says China must take a more humane approach towards North Korean refugees and stop forcing them to return home.

Vitit Muntarbhorn, the UN spokesman on human rights in North Korea, says the international community should lean on China to uphold its legal obligations.

As China is a party to the International Refugee Convention, it "should be supported well to implement its obligations under that convention," he said.

22 Jul 2004 description

Japan's Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, and South Korea's President, Roh Moo-hyun, have pledged to extend aid to North Korea as soon as Pyongyang halts its nuclear arms programs.

The two key U-S allies agreed to speed up efforts to resolve a 20-month-old crisis over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Mr Roh and Mr Koizumi made the announcement after meeting on the South Korean resort island of Cheju.

14 Dec 1999 description

A survey by a South Korean nongovernmental organization shows that more than 70 percent of North Korean refugees in northeastern China had at least one immediate family member die of starvation.

30 Jun 1999 description

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says Australia has made an important contribution to regional security through the resumption of high-level diplomatic talks with North Korea.

Senior diplomats from both countries met in Bangkok last week - the highest form of contact since diplomatic relations with North Korea were severed 24 years ago.

Mr Downer says the Australian officials stressed the importance of North Korea making progress on arms control and constructive engagement with South Korea.

He said any resumption of bilateral relations between Australia and North Korea would be …

01 Apr 1999 description

Japan says North Korea must make constructive concessions on its missile program and other issues, before Japan can resume food aid to the country.

Japan suspended food aid to North Korea after the Stalinist state launched a missile last August, which flew over Japan.

Relations soured further following the alleged intrusion of North Korean spy ships into Japanese waters last week.

04 Jan 1999 description

The Chinese government is reported to have tightened control over famine-struck North Koreans who slip into China looking for food.

Cable Television Channel Two in Hong Kong quotes a humanitarian group, that visited North Korean refugees at the border in China, as saying that Beijing had taken measures to stop locals from aiding the refugees.

A spokesman for the unnamed humanitarian group said previously young refugees who escaped from North Korea were given food and shelter.

The group estimates that more than 30 thousand North Korean refugees are living in China, and more than …

13 Nov 1998 description

North Korea has received a shipment of food processing equipment from the World Food Program, or W-F-P, to help ease conditions for the famine-hit country's starving children.

A spokesman says the equipment will go to Pyongyang's children foodstuff factory.

Communist North Korea is suffering a serious food shortage after being hard hit by a series of natural disasters over the past five years.

The North Koprean government has admitted that people have died because of the famine, but has refused to give numbers.

However, a United States Congressional delegation has …

08 Sep 1998 description

North Korea has agreed to a United States request that it resume four-party peace talks next month with the aim of reaching a permanent peace on the Korean peninsula.

The four-party talks between the U-S, North and South Korea and China are aimed at brokering a permanent peace to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War.