The North Korean government has reportedly instructed its 40 embassies around the world to ask for food aid from foreign governments.
Each embassy was given a quota, the Guardian quotes an Asian diplomat. The instruction was relayed in December, the newspaper adds.
The North Korean embassy in the United Kingdom has not commented on the report, but the U.K. government confirmed last week that it was approached, Alertnet reports. Local media in the Czech Republic have also reported that the North Korean embassy had approached the Czech government, Alertnet adds. There are also reports that the North Korean mission to the U.N. office in New York has approached the U.S. government for food aid.
This direct approach of appealing to other countries is unusual, Alertnet notes. North Korea has traditionally relied on food aid from the World Food Program, China and South Korea.
The secretive Asian country is struggling to feed its population following poor harvest seasons. The country’s current harsh winter wearther is further raising concerns about the nutrition of vulnerable groups.
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