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Worst winter in decades threatens North Korea crops

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 8:26 a.m. HST, Feb 1, 2011

SEOUL, South Korea — A news report says that North Korea is suffering the harshest winter in decades, raising concerns about food production this year.

The pro-Pyongyang, Japan-based Choson Sinbo newspaper reported Tuesday that temperatures in North Korea has stayed below zero for 40 consecutive days this winter — the longest cold snap since 1945.

It says that the chill has frozen soil much deeper than last year, causing farmers to worry about this year's grain production.

The paper is considered as a mouthpiece for the communist North Korean government in Pyongyang.

North Korea has relied on outside assistance to feed many of its 24 million people since a famine is believed to have killed as many as 2 million in the 1990s.

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