The government, led by President Moon Jae-in, on Friday also authorized South Korean businesspersons' first visit to the Kaesong inter-Korean industrial park since the complex was shut down in 2016 due to Pyongyang's weapons tests.
In their most recent estimates, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme (WFP) said about 10.1 million North Koreans - 40 percent of the population - were suffering from severe food shortages, a similar figure to recent years.
Through the year, North Koreans have tried to survive by consuming 300 grams of food every day, the report stated.
The US State Department has approved a possible sale of SM-2 Block IIIB ship-to-air missiles to South Korea for an estimated cost of $313.9 million, according to a US defense agency.
"Even before this drought, one in five children under five years old was stunted because of poor nutrition".
If the official data is accurate, North Korea needs to import 1.5 million tons of food to offset production shortage, Hotham added. "We are concerned that these children will not be able to cope with further stress on their bodies", Babiker said.
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It was an important source of revenue for the impoverished North with about 120 South Korean companies paying double the roughly $70 a month minimum wage in North Korea for the 55,000 workers there.
In their joint assessment on May 3, United Nations bodies said that 40 percent of the North's population was in urgent need of food aid due to a bad harvest that left the impoverished North with a 1.36 million ton shortage of grain.
"I think the food issue should be reviewed, irrespective of the security issue, from the humanitarian aspect, especially as the same compatriots", Yonhap News Agency quoted Chung Eui-yong, head of the presidential National Security Office, as saying.
Pyongyang's protest to the United Nations over the seizure comes amid mounting tensions since a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, aimed at bringing about the denuclearisation of the North, broke down in Hanoi in February.
The landscape and farmland north of Pyongyang, North Korea, seen from the window of an aircraft, appears parched and desert-like during the country's worst drought in decades.
South Koreans have to obtain approval to contact North Koreans or travel there.