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North Korea’s Kim sounds alarm over food pinch

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attending the 3rd Plenary Meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang on June 15, 2021. AFP

North Korea’s Kim sounds alarm over food pinch

Kim Jong-un has admitted that North Korea’s food situation is “tense”, state media reported on June 16, sounding the alarm in a country that suffered a devastating famine in the 1990s in which hundreds of thousands died.

The impoverished country, which is under multiple sets of international sanctions over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, has long struggled to feed itself, suffering chronic food shortages.

And last year the coronavirus pandemic and a series of summer storms and floods added yet more pressure on the flagging economy.

At a plenary meeting of the central committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, Kim said the economy improved this year, with industrial output growing 25 per cent from a year earlier, the official Korean Central News Agency reported on June 16.

But “the people’s food situation is now getting tense as the agricultural sector failed to fulfil its grain production plan due to the damage by typhoon last year”, Kim said.

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