South Korea approves funding to fight severe
U.S. Water News Online
SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea has said it would spend
an additional $7.7 million to fight a prolonged drought threatening
the rice harvest.
The funding, to be used for building irrigation channels and
drilling wells, is in addition to $15.3 million spent earlier this
year. The dry spell began in March and is also affecting impoverished
Weather officials say the rainfall total so far this year in South
Korea is 8.4 inches -- one third below average. The drought is
expected to continue in some areas until June, past the rice-planting
season which began in May.
The northern part of South Korea has been most severely hit, and
authorities have cut back drinking water supplies to some towns north
of the capital Seoul.
In North Korea, about 150,000 acres of crops had been damaged by
drought as of late May, state news agency KCNA reported.
North Korea's farm industry has been devastated by flood, drought
and mismanagement, forcing the impoverished, communist country to
rely on outside aid since 1995 to feed its 22 million people.
More than 200,000 people died of starvation and hunger-related
diseases in the late 1990s. Last month, a U.N. official said North
Korea has just two-thirds of the food it needs to get through the
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