UPDATE (2011-12-13): According to Radio Free Asia (in Korean), the Chinese government has agree to provide the DPRK with new meteorological equipment. According to the article:
중국 정부가 유엔 산하 기구를 통해 북한에 첨단 기상관측장비를 지원하기로 결정한 것으로 밝혀졌습니다.
정아름 기자가 보도합니다.
중국정부가 지난 12일 북한에 컴퓨터를 통해 기상관측 정보를 받아보는 자동기상 관측장비(Automatic Weather Systems) 4대를 지원 하겠다는 의사를 유엔 산하 세계기상기구에 전달했습니다.
세계기상기구는 13일 자유아시아방송(RFA)에 이번 지원의 정확한 시점과 지원대상지역은 정해지지 않은 상태이라고 전했습니다.
ORIGINAL POST: According to the Korea Times:
A meteorological expert called for international assistance for North Korea, saying it was lacking in up-to-date meteorological equipment.
The Radio Free Asia quoted Avinash Tyagi, director of the climate and water department of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), who visited North Korea in mid-March, as saying “equipment and computers used for weather forecasting were in urgent need of replacement.”
Tyagi’s visit with two other colleagues was the first by a WMO team in eight years.
They were supposed to visit the North last November in light of severe flooding last summer, but the trip was postponed.
The floods cost many lives and left many homeless in Sinuiju near the border with China, drawing immediate international humanitarian assistance, including from the South.
The expert said new equipment would help improve the food situation in the country and encouraged the international community to help. He added of the 186 observatories scattered through the country, only 27 were connected to the international meteorology network. Even the equipment there was outdated, made in the 1970 and 80s.
Food shortages are a chronic problem for North Korea, and this has got worse in recent years, which prompted the regime to run an unprecedented campaign to call for food aid from other countries.
Read the full story here:
N. Korea in need of new meteorological equipment