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N. Korea's children suffer from severe malnutrition: report

2015/04/22 10:32

SEOUL, April 22 (Yonhap) -- One of six North Korean children under age 5 have been suffering from chronic malnutrition, a report showed Tuesday, raising alarm over food situations in the North.

The portion of underweight children suffering from malnutrition accounted for 15.2 percent of all of North Korea's children under age 5 as of end-2013, according to the World Development Indicator 2015 released by the World Bank.

The corresponding data for South Korea and Chinese children reached 0.6 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, the report showed.

The North has relied on international handouts since 1995 to help feed its people suffering from chronic food shortages.

Its crop production is known to have improved in recent years, but its food situations remain inadequate.

A separate U.N. report recently showed that about 70 percent of North Korea's 24.6 million people are suffering from food shortages and 1.8 million, including children and pregnant women, are in need of nutrition.

The mortality rate for children under age 5 in North Korea came in at 27 per 1,000 new births, compared with South Korea with 4 babies and China with 13 children, the report said.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr

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