South Korea sends aid to flood-hit North


South Korea will send emergency aid to its poorer northern neighbour after floods left hundreds of North Koreans dead or missing and may have displaced up to 300,000 people.

North Korea, which has suffered chronic food shortages for years, said floods have ravaged crops in its agricultural bread basket and left more than 11 per cent of its paddy and maize fields submerged, buried or swept away.

South Korea is planning to send flour, instant noodles and medicine in an aid package that will be announced on Friday, the South's Yonhapnews agency reported.

The Unification Ministry said Seoul is considering aid but has yet to receive a request from the North Korean government.

Last year, North Korea produced 4.8 million tonnes of grain, and the rice crop accounted for half the total, according to the Korea Institute for National Unification.

International experts said even with a good harvest, North Korea still falls one million tonnes short of the food needed to feed its 23 million people.