Facing its worst drought in 90 years, South Korea has mobilised a fifth of its military force to help combat the situation. At least 130,000 troops were sent to 90 worst-hit regions armed with drilling machines, trucks, excavators and pumping motors, to dig wells or draw water from reservoirs. "It is like pouring water into a bottomless pot,' said Oh Kwang-Jei, an officer. In some drought-hit areas like Koyang, fire engines along with military and construction trucks are being used by the military to fetch water.

Since March, 2001, South Korea has had a nationwide average of only 9.3 cm of rain, less than one-third of the usual rainfall of 28.9 cm for that period. The drought hit the country during a crucial rice transplanting season that usually begins in May and ends in June.

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