14 May 2020 13:48

Russia supplies 25,000 tonnes of grain to N. Korea as humanitarian aid

MOSCOW. May 14 (Interfax) - Russia has supplied 25,000 tonnes of grain to North Korea as humanitarian aid, the Russian embassy in Pyongyang said in a statement on Facebook on Thursday.

According to the review prepared by the World Food Program together with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, "at least 10 million people in North Korea are suffering from a food deficit," the statement said.

"A key reason for this situation is bad weather, including the severe drought that hit major rice-producing provinces of the country in 2019," it said.

Hence, the Russian government decided "to help the Korean people with wheat supplies," the statement said.

"On May 14, Ambassador Alexander Matsegora and embassy diplomats visited the Nampo port, where 25,000 tonnes of premium grain were delivered from Novorossiysk on board the Polina cargo ship flying the flag of Sierra Leone several days ago," it said.

As reported in March 2020, more than 1.5 billion rubles were assigned from the Russian budget for humanitarian grain supplies to Syria and North Korea in 2019.

Grain was supplied to North Korea in 2019, due to the fact that the country had its smallest harvest since 2008 in 2018. Three shipments of humanitarian aid were made to North Korea in February-April 2019. Almost 4,000 more tonnes of wheat were delivered to North Korea in the middle of 2019.