The North Korean leader has declared a “top priority” to combat the “alarming” food crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, international sanctions and natural disasters. modes State-owned companies this Wednesday. The day before, Kim Jong-un chaired a plenary session of the Workers’ Party Central Committee to assess the state of the country and the progress made by the central policies, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
Despite declaring that the country is enjoying economic growth, the Korean leader has identified as a “key priority” the need to combat food shortages threatening the population, in a scenario The economic crisis that the country has been going through for decades has worsened. Earlier in the year, Kim Jong-un admitted the economic program had failed.
With the arrival of the pandemic last year, Kim Jong-un refused any international aid and isolated himself further, fearing that the virus might cross the border. Trade with China, the traditional partner, has also declined. There does not appear to be any sign of opening up.
“The nutritional situation of the population is worrying, because the agricultural sector has failed to achieve its grain production targets” after suffering damage from natural disasters that hit the country last year, the agency quoted Kim Jong Un as saying.
“It is necessary for both the party and the state to focus on agriculture,” he continued. The leader identified natural disasters as the main cause and called for the implementation of measures to reduce the impact of disasters. Kim Jong Un said after that Korean Workers’ Party It will have to intervene to combat the effects of the epidemic, by distributing food, clothing and housing.
The North Korean leader has admitted on several occasions that The economic crisis in the country, but to openly and openly acknowledge food scarcity at the national level is a Kim Jong-un’s unusual position. In April, he issued a similar declaration, comparing the country’s situation to the terrible famine of the 1990s, which killed between hundreds of thousands and between two and three million.
According to Jiro Ishimaru, editor-in-chief of Asia Press International, a Location Japan is watching North Korea, there is a shortage of basic commodities, including medicines, and agricultural products such as fertilizers, he writes The New York Times.
Ichimaru said some families have started selling furniture and the number of homeless children looking for food has increased in some parts of the country. Other reports talk about rising commodity prices.
a The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea, Thomas Ojia Quintana warned last week of similar situations: “An increasing number of families eat only twice a day, or they eat corn, and some are starving.”
A report released early this year by the US Department of Agriculture indicated that North Korea had a food deficit of close to one million tons. This means that North Koreans ate, on average, 445 calories less than the 2,100 calories recommended by the United Nations. The Wall Street Journal.
This year, the country could face a food shortage of up to 1.35 million tons, according to a report published in May by the Korea Development Institute, think thanks South Korea. Kwon Tae-jin, the report’s author, cautioned that “food shortages in North Korea on a scale cannot be overcome alone.” The New York Times.
However, many experts do not expect that there will be severe famine in the country, similar to the crisis of 1990. However, they believe that millions of people will struggle, including Pyongyang’s elite.