Dozens of people died in North Korea in floods and landslides caused by a typhoon which hit the country earlier this month, state media has said. Nearly 9,000 buildings were destroyed and roads, railways and power lines were badly damaged, the report said. And some 65km (40 miles) of railway tracks were also washed away.
It has prompted speculation that a rare ruling party conference has been delayed to deal with the situation.
Good Friends, a South Korean humanitarian group with contacts in the North, said the meeting had been postponed as many delegates were unable to travel. Many analysts expect the meeting to give some indication of who will succeed Kim Jong-il.