U.N. sends three experts to N. Korea over FMD: report

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has dispatched three experts to North Korea to help contain a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak that Pyongyang says is spreading after emerging in the country more than two months ago, according to a U.S. radio report.

The three experts plan to assess the situation with their North Korean counterparts and make recommendations on how to contain the highly contagious animal disease, the Voice of America reported Thursday, citing the U.N. body's Chief Veterinary Officer, Juan Lubroth.

The trip comes more than two weeks after North Korea made a request for assistance to the U.N. body.

Last month, the North told the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health that the animal disease had broken out at a pig farm in a suburb of its capital, Pyongyang, on Jan. 8.

The North's media reported last month that the country had killed 2,900 pigs as a preventive measure to stop the spread of the disease and buried about 360 others that had died from the disease.

The highly contagious animal disease is continuing to spread due to a lack of vaccines, diagnostic means and disinfectants, according to the North's media.

Foot-and-mouth disease is an infectious and sometimes fatal disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals such as pigs, cattle, deer and sheep.

Last month, South Korea offered to supply disinfectants and other assistance to North Korea, though Pyongyang failed to respond to the offer.

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