Kim Jong Un highlights North Korea’s food crisis in year-end speech

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un He once 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.

End-of-year speech, summarized by state media KCNA, Brief reference to “Emergency epidemic prevention work”.

a North Korea She has remained silent during the pandemic, has isolated herself from the rest of the world and has not recognized any local COVID-19 cases.

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 office, but did not specifically mention South Korea or the United States, except for a brief reference to the political directions of inter-Korean relations and Foreign Affairs.

While the North Korean leader did not detail the degree of the food shortage, the World Food Organization has warned of severe food shortages in the country in 2021, including a shortage of hundreds of thousands of tons. 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” during a speech 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 help in the country.

It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people – or up to 10% of the country’s population – starved to death during this period.

In June, Kim admitted the country was facing a “food stress situation” due to the typhoon and flooding in 2020.

That same month, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimated that North Korea was in short supply of around 860,000 tonnes of food – enough for just over two months with few supplies. .

On Saturday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported (31) Kim’s recognition of “unfavorable conditions this year” and his desire “to increase agricultural production and completely solve the country’s food problem.”

(Translated text. Read the original text by clicking here)

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