North Korean leader Kim Jong-un He again admitted that there was a “food problem” in the country, during a speech that ended an important five-day meeting of his Workers’ Party of Korea.
Year-end speech, summarized by state media KCNA, Brief reference to “Emergency Epidemic Prevention Work”.
Most of Kim’s speech focused on the need to increase the country’s agricultural productivity.
He also praised the military progress made during his 10th year in power, but did not specifically mention South Korea or the United States, except for a brief reference to the political orientations of inter-Korean relations and foreign affairs.
While the North Korean leader did not detail the degree of food shortages, the World Food Organization warned of severe food shortages in the country in 2021, including a shortage of hundreds of thousands of tons of rice.
The problem has been exacerbated by severe flooding in some of the country’s most fertile rice-growing areas.
This is not the first time that Kim has become aware of the food situation in the country. In April, the Central News Agency reported that the leader told people about another “difficult march” while speaking at a high-level political meeting.
The term “Hard March” refers to a period of devastating famine in the early 1990s, when North Korea’s economy collapsed after the collapse of the Soviet Union, halting the flow of aid into the country.
It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people – or up to 10% of the country’s population – died of starvation during this period.
In June, Kim admitted that the country was facing a “stressed food situation” due to typhoon and flooding in 2020.
In the same month, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimated that North Korea lacked about 860,000 tons of food – enough for just over two months with little supplies.
On Saturday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported (31) Kim’s recognition of the “unfavorable conditions this year” and his desire to “increase agricultural production and completely solve the country’s food problem.”
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