North Korea has reportedly cut short a military drill in order to redeploy soldiers for flood relief. The regime has ordered the troops in the country's western and southeastern regions to scale down their numbers.

"Many military units stopped the exercises and have mobilised troops for flood relief works.... this year's summer drill in the North will be scaled back considerably because it needs to focus on repairing flood damage," an unidentified source in Seoul told the South Korea-based Yonhap news agency.

The country has been staging its summer military drill in order to overlap its rivals' exercises. The annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian manoeuvres jointly conducted by South Korea and the US usually takes place in August.

North Korea has been ravaged by torrential rains, floods and landslides in recent weeks.

The floods have claimed at least 33 lives, according to the International Federation of Red Cross. The relief organisation has also promised to provide $320,000 (£210,000) in flood aid.

It was earlier reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had ordered the remobilisation of 300,000 troops into economy-related projects. The impoverished nation has been hit hard by international sanctions imposed as a result of its controversial nuclear programme.

North Korea has toned down its aggression in recent months. During the latest military parade to commemorate the 60<sup>thanniversary of the Korean War armistice, an occasion which is generally used by Pyongyang to flex its military muscle, no new weapons were on display.