North Korea’s Kim Jong Un inspects flood relief

Kim Jong Un attends the fourth meeting of the Executive Policy Council of the Seventh Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea in Pyongyang on August 5, 2020. (KCNA via Reuters)
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Updated 07 August 2020

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un inspects flood relief

  • Heavy rain across the Korean peninsula has brought flooding to both North and South Korea in recent days
  • Rain during the harvest season in the rice-growing area is raising concern about North Korea’s food security

SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered officials to provide food and shelter for hundreds of families who lost their homes in floods, the KCNA state news agency reported on Friday.
Heavy rain across the Korean peninsula has brought flooding to both North and South Korea in recent days, and concern is growing about damage to North Korean crops and its potential impact on food supplies.
“It is of priority importance to quickly supply sleeping materials, daily commodities, medicines and other necessities to the flood-affected people to stabilize their living,” Kim said in comments carried by KCNA.
Kim made the remarks while inspecting a flood-hit part of North Hwanghae Province, on the border of South Korea, as he “clarified tasks” for recovery work with officials there.
Torrential rain for several days has inundated more than 730 single-story houses, destroying 179 of them, and flooded rice-growing land, KCNA said.
There were no reports of casualties.
State television footage showed Kim visiting rural areas where a flooded river devastated farmlands and the roofs of some houses had collapsed.
Kim would also mobilize the army for rehabilitation, in particular work on homes and roads, and he called on architects to build 800 model houses in a badly hit farming village in Unpha County, KCNA said.
The rain during the harvest season in the rice-growing area is raising concern about North Korea’s food security.
North Korea’s ruling party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, cited a study that said rice and corn would suffer if the crops were under water for just two or three days.
“The fate of this year’s farming depends on how to protect farmland and crops from the flood,” the newspaper said.
South Korea on Thursday donated $10 million to the UN World Food Programme for its efforts to help North Korean children and women.
Parts of South Korea have seen more than 40 consecutive days of rain, the longest monsoon since 2013, and more is expected across the peninsula.
President Moon Jae-in on Friday designated seven hardest hit cities and counties as special disaster zones, which allows the areas to get more government aid.


Police clash with anti-lockdown protesters in London

Updated 19 September 2020

Police clash with anti-lockdown protesters in London

  • Scuffles broke out Saturday as police moved in to disperse hundreds of demonstrators who gathered in London’s central Trafalgar Square
  • Britain’s Conservative government imposed a ban on all social gatherings of more than six people this week in a bid to tackle a steep rise in COVID-19 cases in the country

LONDON: Police in London have clashed with protesters at a rally organized by opponents of restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.
Scuffles broke out Saturday as police moved in to disperse hundreds of demonstrators who gathered in London’s central Trafalgar Square. Some protesters formed blockades to stop officers from making arrests, and traffic was brought to a halt in the busy area.
The “Resist and Act for Freedom” rally saw dozens of people holding banners and placards such as one reading “This is now Tyranny” and chanting “Freedom!” Police said there were “pockets of hostility and outbreaks of violence towards officers.”
Britain’s Conservative government imposed a ban on all social gatherings of more than six people this week in a bid to tackle a steep rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, but officials are considering even stricter restrictions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday that Britain is “now seeing a second wave” of the coronavirus, after seeing the same in France, Spain and across Europe.
Britain has Europe’s worst death toll in the pandemic with 41,821 confirmed virus-related deaths, but experts say all numbers undercount the true impact of the pandemic.
In a statement, British police said protesters were “putting themselves and others at risk” and urged all those at the London rally to disperse immediately or risk arrest.