North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un warns his people of food shortages and famine. A severe typhoon would cause a failed grain harvest, but the consequences of the corona pandemic and the closed borders with China may also be responsible for a shortage of food.
Kim Jong-Un also looks a lot thinner compared to a few months ago.
In a rather unusual warning, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un speaks of a “tense” food situation in his country due to major flooding after a typhoon, the corona pandemic and international sanctions. The country’s difficult economic situation is well known, but Kim’s now openly mentioning the food shortage is highly unusual.
Kim called on the Central Committee of his ruling Workers’ Party to make eliminating that food shortage “a top priority”: “The population’s food situation, in particular, is now tense as the agricultural sector has failed to fulfil its grain production after the flood damage the North Korean state news agency quotes Kim.
In a recent report, the United Nations also warned that many North Korean families would face difficulties by August if the food shortage is not remedied by imports or foreign aid.
Just two months ago, Kim Jong-Un had ordered his party members to embark on a “heavy march” to erase his people’s economic pain. In doing so, he seemed to refer to the devastating famine of the 1990s.
Whether a similar famine is imminent is unclear, but according to South Koreans who monitor market prices in the North, the price of rice has risen remarkably in recent weeks.
Because the border with China is closed due to the pandemic, very little comes in via North Korea’s largest trading partner. As a result, many essential goods such as medicines are becoming scarcer.