PENDLE MP Gordon Prentice has urged the government to help North Korea whose 20 million people have been fighting starvation following repeated harvest failures.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Prentice, a long standing member of the Parliamentary All Party Korea Group, told Foreign Office Minister John Battle that two million North Koreans had starved to death as a result of famine.

He congratulated the government on its ground-breaking move, establishing diplomatic relations with the country last month.

He told the Minister: "North Korea, the so-called hermit kingdom, has been isolated for half a century and is only now emerging into the daylight.

"I hope we can do all we can to help the North Koreans to feed themselves."

The Pendle MP told the Commons he would be meeting a delegation of North Koreans next week to discuss the situation in their country.

He added: "North Korea is a country frozen in time, a Stalinist state long after the others had crumbled. We now have to bring North Korea into the wider community of nations. I want to establish trading links soon."