Concern after Kim speech – North Korea is apparently facing severe famine


North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has sounded the alarm after reports of food shortages. The head of state stressed that a “fundamental transformation” in agriculture is needed to secure the food supply of the sanction-isolated country.

Shortly before, state media reported that Kim feared an exacerbation of food shortages in the country. As he finally continued in his speech, meeting grain production targets this year is an absolute priority, state news agency KCNA reported. However, the report does not specify what measures North Korea will take, but Kim said the changes should take place over the next few years.

North Korea has always firmly rejected any suggestion that its citizens can no longer be adequately cared for. However, earlier this month, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said the food situation in the north “appeared to be deteriorating”. The ministry said at the time that it was rare for North Korea to announce a special agricultural strategy meeting in late February.

Return of the Great Famines?
In his speech on Monday, according to KCNA, Kim cited the “importance of the growth of agricultural productive forces” in ensuring socialist construction. The full extent of North Korea’s food shortages is unclear, but in a January report, the US-based monitoring project 38 North said food insecurity was at its highest since the famines that devastated the country in the 1990s.

Soils for grain cultivation “unfavorable”
“The availability of food has likely fallen below the minimum that meets human needs,” the report said. North Korea’s quest for self-sufficiency means that almost all grain is produced domestically, but this has left the country vulnerable, 38 North noted.

“Ironically, achieving adequate agricultural production on North Korea’s unfavorable soils has led to heavy reliance on imported goods, exposing the country to global shocks, diplomatic strife and adverse weather conditions,” the report said.

Source: Krone


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