Na Coreia do Norte, esse tipo de atividade de alto risco, totalmente capitalista, não é sequer permitida. Acho que os habitantes desse imenso campo de concentração que é a Coreia do Norte estão pior do que os somalis...
Nearly a third of children under age five show signs of stunting, particularly in rural areas, and chronic diarrhea due to a lack of clean water, sanitation and electricity has become the leading cause of death among children.
Hospitals are spotless but bare; few have running water or power, and drugs and medicine are in short supply, the UN said in a detailed update on the humanitarian situation in North Korea.
"I've seen babies ... who should have been sitting up who were not sitting up, and can hardly hold a baby bottle," said Jerome Sauvage, the UN's Pyongyang-based resident coordinator for North Korea.
The UN has called for US$198 million in donations this year - mostly to help feed the hungry.
Last month, North Korea's premier, Choe Yong Rim, urged farmers to do their part to alleviate food shortages, according to a report from the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
Worries of another drought have been raised by a reported shortfall of rain this spring, which will likely lead to a reduced harvest.
"I have been working at the farm for more than 30 years, but I have never experienced this kind of severe drought," An Song Min, a farmer at the Tokhae Cooperative Farm in the Nampho area, said as he stood in parched fields where the dirt crumbled through his fingers.
North Korea does not produce enough food to feed its 24 million people, and relies on limited purchases of food from other countries as well as outside donations to make up the shortfall.
About 16 million North Koreans - two-thirds of the country - depend on government rations, the UN report said. There are no signs the government will undertake the long-term structural reforms needed to spur economic growth, it said.
The land in the mountainous north is largely unsuitable for farming, and deforestation and outmoded agricultural techniques - as well as limited fuel and electricity - mean farms are vulnerable to natural disasters, including flooding, drought and harsh, cold winters, the UN report said. Provinces in the southern "cereal bowl" produce most of the country's grains, but the food does not always reach the far northeast.
A crop assessment last October indicated that 3 million people would need outside food help this year.
Sauvage noted that North Korea, proud of its free health care system, runs spotlessly clean hospitals but with limited facilities. "The proportion of doctors to households is very high," Sauvage said. "Unfortunately, there's not a lot in the doctor's toolkit."