Harsh winter prompts concerns about food security in North Korea

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UN food agencies say they’re worried about food security in North Korea because of a particularly harsh winter.

Officials say they’ve sent a mission to the country after the World Food Programme found that five million people in the state face food shortages this year.

A spokesman for the Rome-based World Food Programme, Greg Barrow, says the food assessment mission will continue until early March.

The mission follows a formal request from North Korea.

Food procurement

The World Food Programme says it got almost 170 million US dollars worth of food aid last year.

The UN aid agency, which is one of the biggest food buyers in the world, says the food came from 96 nations, including Ethiopia, Vietnam and Guatemala.

It helped people affected by the flooding in Pakistan, the earthquake in Haiti and the drought in the Sahel region of Africa.

The WFP says that more than 80 percent of all the food bought by WFP in 2010 had come from phentermine developing countries — the highest ever proportion to come from the developing world.