Seoul — North Korea on Thursday called for an "all-out battle" against record temperatures that threaten crops in a country already grappling with tough international sanctions over its nuclear weapons programme. The resulting drought has brought an "unprecedented natural disaster", the isolated nation said, warning against crop damage that could savage its farm-reliant economy, battered by sanctions despite recent diplomatic overtures. "This high-temperature phenomenon is the largest, unprecedented natural disaster, but not an obstacle we cannot overcome," the North’s Rodong Sinmun said, urging that "all capabilities" be mobilised to fight the extended dry spell. Temperatures have topped a record 40°C in some regions since late July, and crops such as rice and maize have begun to show signs of damage, the spokesperson of the governing Workers’ Party said. "Whether the current good crop conditions, for which the whole nation has made unsparing investment and sweated until now, will ...

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