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UN says North Korea aid faces 'significant underfunding' as recent US sanctions force cuts

North Korea’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, An Myong Hun, waits to speak to reporters at North Korea’s U.N. mission in New York, Wednesday April 8, 2015. Hun said Mexico has "forcibly detained" one of its ships months after it ran aground off Mexico's Gulf coast and that his country will take unspecified "necessary measures to make the ship leave immediately." An Myong Hun said the ship, the Mu Du Bong, was not carrying anything prohibited by U.N. sanctions and that more than 50 crew remain on board. (AP Photo/Cara Anna)

North Korea’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, An Myong Hun, waits to speak to reporters at North Korea’s U.N. mission in New York, Wednesday April 8, 2015. Hun said Mexico has "forcibly detained" one of its ships months after it ran aground off Mexico's Gulf coast and that his country will take unspecified "necessary measures to make the ship leave immediately." An Myong Hun said the ship, the Mu Du Bong, was not carrying anything prohibited by U.N. sanctions and that more than 50 crew remain on board. (AP Photo/Cara Anna)  (The Associated Press)

A new United Nations report says humanitarian aid for North Korea faces "significant underfunding" while about 70 percent of the population faces food insecurity, and it says recent U.S. sanctions forced U.N. agencies to suspend some programs and operations last year.

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos on Wednesday tweeted the report on the poor but nuclear-armed country.

The report acknowledges the sharp restrictions that North Korea's government imposes on aid operations, saying the ability of U.N. agencies to freely access communities "is still out of reach."

The U.N. is asking the international community for $111 million for North Korea operations in 2015, its lowest such funding appeal since at least 2009.

The report says North Korea's government in the past couple of years is more openly recognizing its needs.