Seoul (CNN) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has acknowledged that he is facing food shortages caused by last year’s hurricanes and floods, just months after warning North Koreans of an impending crisis.
At the full meeting of the North Korean Workers’ Party, Kim said on Wednesday that the country was experiencing a “tense food situation”.
The country that was isolated during the epidemics is still isolated from the rest of the world. Speaking on Tuesday, Kim said that although its economy has generally improved, the conditions and environment facing North Korea have “deteriorated by this year.”
He added that the ruling party meeting should measure the issue, adding that the KCNA
Kim has not released the extent of the shortage, but it appears to be serious. In April, KCNA reported that Kim, while addressing a high-level political meeting, urged people to embark on another “tough march.”
Recall the “hard march” in North Korea
The term “difficult March” refers to the catastrophic famine of the early 1990s, when North Korea’s economy collapsed following the collapse of the Soviet Union, ending the flow of aid to the country.
Millions of people, or up to 10% of the country’s population, are estimated to be starving.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that North Korea has cut about 860,000 tons of food, enough for more than two months.
FAO warns of situation in Korea
In a statement released on Monday, the FAO said North Korea planned to import only one-fifth of what it needed to fill the gaps in its domestic deficit.
While North Korea increased agricultural plantings by 2020, the company said it “compensates for yield losses due to floods and storms” experienced by the Korean Peninsula from early August to early September 2020.
The FAO further warned that North Koreans could experience a “lean period between August and October 2021” if the supply gap is not filled by imports or aid.
KCNA said the full meeting will focus on directing all efforts for agriculture and addressing the epidemic situation this year.
Other topics listed in the report include discussions on the current international situation and the relevant direction of the ruling party, the improvement of living standards and child care and institutional issues.