North Korea’s foreign minister made appeals for flood aid, report says

NEW YORK, Sept. 30 (UPI) — North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho confidentially petitioned for international flood assistance during the 71st United Nations General Assembly.

Ri, who had told the U.N. Pyongyang has no plans to suspend its nuclear weapons program, also met with U.N. agency representatives with a request for humanitarian assistance, Radio Free Asia reported Thursday.

The floods that affected the northeastern region of the country in late August have been described as “catastrophic” and the worst since the end of World War II by North Korean state media.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs also confirmed emergency relief coordinator Stephen O’Brien had met with Ri and the U.N. Development Program stated Ri had met with UNDP Administrator Helen Clark.

A U.N. source who spoke to RFA on the condition of anonymity said Ri met with the U.N. officials specifically to request for help with flood recovery.

Aid has already been extended from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and though China has not confirmed the report, North Korea has stated Beijing reached out with plans for flood assistance.

Ri had also met with officials at UNICEF to express gratitude to the U.N. children’s agency for apportioning some of its 2017-2021 budget of $71.4 million to North Korea.

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