'Clear evidence of need' in North Korea: UN aid chief

North Korea's Minister of Health Jang Jun Sang meets with UN's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Lowcork in Pyongyang

'Clear evidence of need' in North Korea: UN aid chief

Mark Lowcock s visit to the impoverished, isolated country this week is the first such trip by a United Nations undersecretary for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator since 2011.

U.N. Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock arrived in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on Monday.

Mr Lowcock posted a video after travelling around the country during his visit, which also saw him meet with Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.

The DPRK has made a lot of progress on the humanitarian front since 2012, although challenges remain regarding child malnutrition as well as the lack of safe water and medical supplies, Mark Lowcock said here Wednesday.

"Too much of the water is contaminated, which is a cause of disease and threatens the development of too many children", he said, according to the transcript.

Lowcock on Wednesday met with the North s health minister Jang Jun Sang, Pyongyang s official KCNA news agency said without elaborating further.

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Tapan Mishra, UN Resident Coordinator in North Korea, appealed in the "2018 DPR Korea Needs and Priorities Plan" for countries to "not to let political considerations get in the way" of their decision to donate.

While visiting a hospital, he said there were 140 tuberculosis patients but only enough drugs to treat 40 of them.

Although humanitarian supplies or operations are exempt under U.N. Security Council resolutions, U.N. officials have warned that worldwide sanctions over North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs are exacerbating humanitarian problems by slowing aid deliveries.

About 10.6 million people among the country s 25 million population need humanitarian assistance, the United Nations said, also noting "disparities" in access to basic health services between rural and urban areas.

This trip to North Korea is aimed at meeting with the regime's officials, humanitarian workers and citizens who receive humanitarian aid to better understand the current situation in North Korea.

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