Typhoon Lingling which battered Japan on Thursday has hit North Korea within the past day.
The powerful typhoon, which has caused disruption in South Korea such as power outages and cancelled flights, while creating fears of crop damage in North Korea, passed over the country yesterday. Very little information has come from North Korea, however the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, held an emergency meeting on Friday amid fears that the country’s population could be in danger. During the storm’s passing over South Korea a 75-year-old man was killed after being swept off his feet, while a man in his thirties was killed by a collapsing wall.
The imminent danger caused by the typhoon has not come without disputes from within the Northern state. Kim Jong Un has reported to have blasted officials as ‘unaware of its seriousness and seized with easy-going sentiment’ and that many in authority were ill-prepared.
As a result of the leader’s emergency meeting, he has asked the country’s military to act as a driving force behind prevention and ordered the whole country to step up. However, there are fears from inter-governmental organisations such as the UN that around 10 million North Koreans are in need of ‘urgent of food assistance’. This comes after a heat wave in the country in May, which reduced the harvest down to the worst in a decade, leaving the country 1.36 million tonnes of food short. Since then North Koreans have been relying on rations of just 300g a day, which fell from the normal ration size of 550g per day back in January.
‘Watchmen’ across the country continue to look out for damage and the potential collapse of infrastructure. People in areas prone to flooding have been evacuated. However, the ongoing turmoil created by the storm has formed questions over the state of human rights in North Korea.