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UN says North Korea food security worsening

MILAN — The United Nations food agency says water scarcity has caused a drop in North Korea’s food production for the first time since 2010, threatening to worsen food security in the country.

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization said Wednesday that food production last year was estimated at 5.4 million tons, down 9 percent from 2014. That includes production of cereals, soybeans, and potatoes.

The country will need to import 694,000 tons of food — just 300,000 tons of which is expected to be covered by government imports. The Food and Agriculture Organization said that leaves the widest gap since 2011-2012.

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It said food security is expected to deteriorate from last year ‘‘when most households were already estimated to have poor or borderline food consumption levels.’’

Associated Press