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Apr 27, 1:45 PM EDT

UN says North Korea food security worsening


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MILAN (AP) -- The U.N. food agency says water scarcity has caused a drop in North Korea's food production for the first time since 2010, threatening to worsen food security in the reclusive nation.

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization said Wednesday that food production last year was estimated at 5.4 million tons, down 9 percent from 5.9 million tons in 2014. That includes production of cereals, soybeans and potatoes.

As a result, the country will need to import 694,000 tons of food - just 300,000 tons of which is expected to be covered by government imports. FAO said that leaves the widest gap since 2011-2012.

It said food security is expected to deteriorate from last year "when most households were already estimated to have poor or borderline food consumption levels."

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