The United Nations World Food Programme's executive director David Beasley on Tuesday began a four-day official visit to impoverished North Korea, WFP said in a statement.
“WFP has been working in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for more than two decades, helping to strengthen food security in the country and provide nutritious food to women and children," Beaseley stated.
"This week, I will visit schools and nurseries to meet some of the mothers and young children WFP is supporting, as well as to understand the needs of the operation, which at this point is under-funded.”
During his trip, Beasley will have meetings with senior government officials in the capital Pyongyang and visit nutrition activities supported by WFP in nurseries and kindergartens, the UN agency said.
WFP aims to assist 650,000 women and children in North Korea every month, providing highly nutritious, fortified cereals and biscuits that can address their nutritional needs.
Funding shortfalls have meant that rations have had to be reduced and suspended in some cases, WFP underlined.
Beasley’s visit to North Korea is part of a trip to the region that will also take in China, Japan and South Korea.
At the first inter-Korean summit in over a decade, South Korea's president Moon Jae-in and North Korea's leader Kim Jong in late April vowed to end hostilities between the two countries and work towards the "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula.
Normalising relations would pave the way for Moon’s plan to develop “three economic belts” connecting the two Koreas, and for business and investment opportunities for South Korean companies.
With an economy only a fraction of the size of South Korea’s, North Korea would gain most from peace on the Korean Peninsula, according to analysts.