North Korea is facing greater international isolation over missile tests this month and the prospect of less food aid from its major donor, South Korea.
Up to 2.5 million North Koreans, or about 10 percent of its population, died in the 1990s due to famines caused by droughts, flooding and mismanagement of the agriculture sector, the WFP has quoted studies as saying.
Even in a good year, North Korea's harvest falls about 1 million tons short of its needs, experts have said.
At the end of 2005, North Korea said it no longer wanted handouts from international agencies, causing the WFP to suspend its operations there providing food for 6.5 million people. But in May, North Korea agreed to again accept aid from the WFP but on a smaller scale, for 1.9 million people.
South Korea has rejected the North's latest request for 500,000 tons for rice for this year, unless Pyongyang returns to stalled talks on ending its nuclear weapons programs.