It was first reported that North Korea, reeling from a powerful tropical cyclone Bolaven, would accept aid from South Korean government for the first time in two years.
The United Nations World Food Program called for emergency help for North Korea after the cyclone killed at least 48 and left thousands homeless, according to North Korea’s state news agency KCNA.
The storm also destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of crops, according to a report published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The storm followed widespread flooding in late July from heavy rains, which caused the death of at least 169 people, according to KCNA.
Employees from humanitarian groups that operate inside North Korea have described severe malnourishment on a large scale. A deal earlier this year for the United States to ship food aid to the country fell apart after the authoritarian regime in Pyongyang went ahead with a controversial rocket launch.
South Korea halted aid to the North after it shelled Yeongpyeong Island in November 2010, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians. Pyongyang claimed it was retaliating for South Korean artillery landing in their waters during a military drill.