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Natural disasters

North Korea dispatches troops to rebuild after Typhoon Haishen

Production at Hyundai plant in South halted as storm hits Korean Peninsula

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides a Workers' Party of Korea meeting to organize the recovery from natural disasters in areas of South and North Hamgyong provinces in this photo released Monday by the North Korean Central News Agency.   © EPA/KCNA/Jiji

SEOUL -- After blasting through the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa and Kyushu, Typhoon Haishen lashed the Korean Peninsula with strong winds and rain on Monday, destroying homes in the North and stopping production at the South's largest automaker.

North Korea's state Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported on Tuesday that the country dispatched military personnel to help rebuild houses. The daily said that many regions saw flooding, but it did not give specific details of damage or casualties.

"We will exercise all our capabilities to help people live in better homes and better circumstances, changing their woes to blessings," Yoo Chul Woong, a captain at the First Capital Division, was quoted as saying by the newspaper. Last week, more than 1,000 homes in South Hamgyong Province, on the eastern side of North Korea, were destroyed by another typhoon.

Kim Jong Un hosted a political bureau meeting of the Workers' Party in the province over the weekend, asking party members to come to the region to assist people, South Korea's Unification Ministry said. After his request, more than 300,000 members "voluntarily" joined the rebuilding project.

Haishen is the 10th typhoon this year and third since Aug. 22 to hit the region.

A coastal road is shown damaged in Ulsan, South Korea. A powerful typhoon damaged buildings, flooded roads and knocked out power to thousands of homes in the country on Monday.   © AP

In South Korea, production at Hyundai Motor's No. 5 Factory in the southeastern industrial city of Ulsan was halted for three hours on Monday morning due to blackout. The factory produces the automaker's Genesis G90, G80 and G70 premium sedans and its Tucson and Nexo SUVs.

Two nuclear power generators stopped automatically in Gyeongju city. Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power said it is looking at why this happened.

President Moon Jae-in hosted an emergency meeting on the Monday afternoon, asking authorities to quickly rebuild damaged regions.

"Do the recovery process from the damages by the typhoon quickly. Complete investigation of the regions as soon as possible so that the government can appoint the regions as special disaster zones before the Chuseok holidays," Moon said in the meeting, referring to autumn holidays in late September and early October.

The South Korean government will cut or scrap taxes for residents in the zones, as well as providing them with financial and medical aid.

Two people were killed and two others missing in South Korea, according to the JTBC cable TV channel. The typhoon left at least two people dead, four missing and more than 100 injured in Japan.

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