onsdag 22. februar 2023

North Korea food crisis looms behind displays of military prowess

North Korea is experiencing a critical food crisis, experts say. The country is no stranger to chronic food shortages, but border controls, poor weather and sanctions have worsened the situation in recent years. Top officials are expected to meet at the end of February to discuss a "fundamental change" to agriculture policy, state media has said. This is a "very important and urgent task" amid "pressing" farming issues, news aggregator KCNA Watch reported.

The news comes as Pyongyang continues its displays of military might. South Korea's unification ministry has reportedly also sounded the alarm on the food shortages and asked the World Food Programme (WFP) for help. Satellite imagery from South Korean authorities shows that the North produced 180,000 tonnes less food in 2022 than in 2021. In June, the WFP raised concerns that extreme weather conditions like drought and flooding could reduce production of both winter and spring crops. State media also reported late last year that the country was experiencing its "second worst" drought on record.