N.K. paper urges farmers to brace for hailstone damage ahead of fall harvest

SEOUL-- North Korea's official newspaper on Friday urged farmers to stay on high alert against possible damage from hailstones, saying just a moment of carelessness could cause "irrevocable" consequences.

"In recent years, our country has been affected by disastrous climate conditions, including hailstones in some regions in the autumn," the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling party, said.

"The reality urgently requires all workers in the farming sector see the fall of hailstones as a foregone conclusion and make thorough preparations," the paper added. "A moment of carelessness could lead to irrevocable consequences."

The paper also urged farmers to hasten harvests of crops in hailstone-prone regions, while at the same time make efforts to recover as much as possible from any possible damage caused by such natural disasters.

North Korea has recently ramped up calls for effective land and water management to prevent the repeat of the damage caused by last year's summer typhoons and resultant flooding that devastated many farmlands and hurt harvests.

Recently, state media reported about 1,170 homes were destroyed or flooded, and some 5,000 residents were evacuated due to heavy rainfall in the country's eastern province of Hamgyong.

In June, leader Kim Jong-un said that his country's "food situation is now getting tense as the agricultural sector failed to fulfill its grain production plan" due to damage from typhoons last year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency