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North Korea’s leader says the country faces a food shortage

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un admitted that the country is struggling due to the food shortage, as well as the inflated prices for basic goods. According to North Korea’s authoritarian leader, the food situation is getting “tense” as the country’s agricultural sector could not fulfill its grain production plan. That was largely due to the typhoon damage that occurred last year.

Kim spoke about the current situation at a plenary meeting of the central committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea. He announced that having a good crop is a militant task that their party and state must fulfill. Kim also added that this is a top priority issue, considering that the country must provide the people with a stable life, as well as successfully step up socialist construction.

The plenary meeting began on Tuesday, and it continues through the week. The Korean leader’s announcement marks a rare admission of problems by the Communist regime. The government traditionally does not admit publicly to any issues within the country.

Furthermore, North Korea does not have independent media, and the regime uses state media as its speaker. Accordingly, the press is always positive when it comes to the governing party.

What forced the Korean leader to make the statement? 

Over the last months, there have been reports of skyrocketing prices for foods and basic goods in North Korea. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic and typhoon in 2020 exacerbated the crisis.

NK News, which is an independent North Korea news service based outside the country, has reported a price spike. It wrote that a source in the country reported examples of shampoo selling for $200 per bottle or a kilogram of bananas for $45.

North Korea has few allies worldwide. It has mainly relied on China for much of its imports. However, the latter shut down its border during the pandemic, leading to food and fuel shortages in North Korea. The country’s agricultural sector has always been vulnerable to typhoon season in the region. It has been hit by regular flooding in recent years.

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