By MATTHEW PENNINGTON
The Associated Press
Thursday, March 24, 2011; 2:54 PM
WASHINGTON -- The United Nations says more than 6 million North Koreans are in urgent need of international food assistance.
The world body reported Thursday that North Korea has suffered a series of shocks including summer floods and then a harsh winter, "leaving the country highly vulnerable to a food crisis."
Six million represents about a quarter of the country's population.
The report said the worst affected include children, women and the elderly, and recommended providing 430,000 metric tons of aid.
The study was based on an assessment conducted in February and March by agencies including the World Food Program at North Korea's request.
The U.S. is considering resuming food aid to the North, which has continued to advance its nuclear programs despite its chronic problems feeding its people.