In what the Red Cross has billed a “major, complex disaster,” nearly 100 people have died from flooding caused by heavy rains in North Korea this year.
Now, post-flood epidemics have started claiming lives, however, the nation’s Outstanding Leader Kim Jong-un is more concerned with testing nuclear weapons.
The catastrophe hit after Typhoon Lionrock wreaked havoc in the region from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2. According to state media, the massive flooding during this time was declared the “worst disaster” to hit North Korea since World War II.
"Whole villages have been washed away by flash floods. Families have lost everything, including their kitchen gardens and livestock, which many households depend upon to supplement their diets," said Darlene Tymo, World Food Program (WFP) representative and country director in North Korea, in a September statement. "The floods came just before the harvest period, when the crops were still in the ground.”
As is the case with the aftermath of any natural disaster, the ordeal is far from over.
Over 70 percent of the entire population in North Korea faces food crisis. It’s worse in two worst-hit provinces, North Hamgyong and Ryanggang, which have the worst levels of hunger in the country, according to WFP.
The situation has been made worse by the ensuing outbreak of cholera, a contagious disease that can be fatal if left untreated, spreading via consumption of contaminated drinking water.
As per a source cited by UPI “residents have been unable to distinguish the difference between drinking and sewage water since the disaster.” Elderly people and children are dying and different diseases are "floating, like a shadow of death."
However, none of these problems top Kim Jong-un’s priority list, who hasn’t visited the disaster zone in the past two months. Instead, he has been more interested in threatening his enemies with missile strikes etc.
In September, for instance, as more than half of his people battled with the worst natural disaster in the country’s history, Pyongyang was busy trying to fit a miniaturized nuclear warhead on a rocket.