SEOUL: Flooding caused by torrential rains hit North Korea this week, leaving 15 people missing and thousands of others homeless, according to Pyongyang’s state media. The Tumen River, which serves as part of the border between China, Russia and North Korea, burst its banks in “the worst-ever flood” in the area, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said late Friday. In the northeastern province of North Hamgyong, 15 people were missing in Hoeryong City and several counties including Musan, Yonsa and Onsong and part of the Rason special economic zone also suffered “serious damage.” More than 17,000 houses were destroyed or partly damaged, forcing 44,000 people to seek shelter elsewhere, KCNA said. North Hamgyong Province received up to 32 centimeters of rain between early Tuesday and mid-Friday, it said. “Relentless campaigns are under way to stabilize people’s livelihood and restore damaged properties,” it said, adding that further assessments of the damage would continue.