INTERNATIONAL

Kim calls for urgent steps after typhoon ravages east

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for urgent efforts to rebuild thousands of homes and other structures destroyed by a typhoon that slammed the country’s eastern region last week, state media said on Wednesday.

Mr. Kim during the Workers’ Party meeting on Tuesday also said the damage from Typhoon Maysak has forced the country to reconsider unspecified year-end projects, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said.

The storm has inflicted further pain on an economy already ravaged by U.S.-led sanctions over Mr. Kim’s nuclear weapons program, border closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic and unusually heavy summer flooding that likely worsened the country’s chronic food shortages.

KCNA said Maysak left “severe damage” in the eastern town of Komdok, destroying or flooding more than 2,000 homes and dozens of public buildings and paralysing transport systems. More than 60 km of roads in the region were “washed away,” while 59 bridges collapsed. Several miles of railroads were damaged in mining areas, the report said.

Mr. Kim described the recovery efforts at Komdok a national priority.