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North Korea Confirms Foot-And-Mouth Outbreak

North Korea has confirmed cases of foot-and-mouth disease across the country and lodged the outbreak with the UN food agency.

South Korean media reported that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) would dispatch a team next week to help the reclusive state contain the outbreak.

The North’s KCNA state news agency said the most affected areas included the capital Pyongyang, adding that more than 10,000 head of draught oxen, milch cows and pigs had been infected and thousands had died.

The South’s Agriculture Ministry said on Friday that North Korea reported the outbreak to the FAO on Wednesday.

The FAO declined immediate comment.

The South’s Unification Ministry said the government currently had no plans to send aid to North Korea in relation to the outbreak, nor had there been any requests for help.

As of 2008, North Korea had 576,000 head of cattle and 2.2 million pigs, said the South’s Yonhap news agency, quoting data from Statistics Korea.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture Ministry in Seoul said the outbreak in the South was improving. The outbreak has driven U.S. hog futures to record highs.

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