Kim Jong-un gets angry at weather forecasters for getting their predictions wrong

The truculent tyrant issued 'field guidance' to staff at North Korea's national hydro-meteorological service this week

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The Independent Online

It is perhaps lucky that Michael Fish doesn't reside in North Korea.

Kim Jong-un, the portly belligerent despot who's starving two thirds of North Koreans to death, seemingly has a new target: weather forecasters.

According to state-run newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, the truculent tyrant issued "field guidance" to staff at North Korea's national hydro-meteorological service this week. It would appear "field guidance" is a North Korean euphemism for humiliating public dressing down.

On a tour of the service's facilities he reportedly complained that there are "too many incorrect" weather forecasts.

The newspaper report, which features pictures of a seemingly irate Kim smoking and pointing angrily, claims that Kim's concerns relate to the potential impact of incorrect weather reports on the economy.

According to a Washington Post translation Kim said: "There are many incorrect forecasts as the meteorological observation has not been put on a modern and scientific basis..."

"It is necessary to fundamentally improve the work of the Hydro-meteorological Service in order to scientifically clarify meteorological and climatic conditions and provide accurate data for weather forecast and meteorological and climatic information required by various fields of national economy in good time", he added.

The Washington Post suggests a connection between Kim's anger and the fact that last month the country experienced its worst spring drought in three decades. The drought is likely to further negatively affect the already diminishing food supply.

According to the UN North Korea, through its state security apparatus, is regularly committing "systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations", many of which "constitute crimes against humanity".

It is estimated that more than one-in-four children in the country are stunted from chronic malnutrition, and two-thirds of the country's 24 million people don't know where their next meal is coming from.

A team from the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reporting from North Korea, found that 2.8 million North Koreans "are in need of regular food assistance amid worrying levels of chronic malnutrition and food insecurity."