N.Korea Asks Iran for Drought Relief

      July 03, 2015 09:33

      North Korea has asked the Iranian Red Crescent for emergency relief after the worst drought in a century, Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency reported Thursday.

      North Korean Ambassador to Iran Kang Sam-hyon asked the head of the Iranian Red Crescent, Seyed Amir Mohsen Ziaee, for humanitarian aid on Tuesday.

      Kang said the North is suffering economic difficulties due to sanctions and the drought. "We need equipment to overcome the drought and improve the agricultural environment,” he added.

      Kang made the request on behalf North Korean Premier Pak Pong-ju, IRNA added.

      Iran "is duty bound to render humanitarian aid to all countries," Ziaee was quoted as saying, and Iran will "spare no efforts" once it has assessed the situation.

      It is unclear whether the North also asked other countries for help.

      South Korea and China have offered food aid to the North, but it has not yet accepted.

      Tehran and Pyongyang have friendlier ties than the North's immediate neighbors, which have long been frustrated by the regime's antics.

      North Korea and Iran have allegedly cooperated in nuclear and missile development, and Pyongyang backed Tehran during the Iran-Iraq War.

      Iran is about to conclude a nuclear deal with the U.S., while the North's international isolation is growing because it refuses to negotiate about its nuclear arms development.

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