SEOUL, South Korea: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un According to state media, Monday’s opening of a political conference devoted to agriculture improvement was reported by the government. amid outside assessments that the country’s chronic food insecurity is getting worse.
According to recent unconfirmed reports, there has been an unknown number. North Koreans are suffering from hunger. However, observers aren’t seeing any evidence of mass death or famine. North KoreaAlthough it is not a monopoly, food shortage This is most likely due to the persistent international sanctions, pandemic-related restrictions, and its own management mistakes.
At a high-level meeting meeting This is the ruling Workers’ Party that began Sunday, senior party officials reviewed last year’s work under state goals to accomplish “rural revolution in the new era,” According to the Korean Central News Agency,
It was stated that meeting of the party’s Central Committee will determine “immediate, important” tasks on Agriculture issues “urgent tasks arising at the present stage of the national economic development.”
KNCA didn’t say whether Kim spoke during the meeting It would be a long-lasting solution. Cabinet Premiers are senior officials. Kim Tok Hun Jo Yong Won, one of Kim’s closest aides who handles the Central Committee’s organizational affairs, were also attending.
It meeting is the party’s first plenary session convened only to discuss agriculture. Monday’s report didn’t elaborate on its agenda, but the party’s powerful Politburo said earlier this month that a “a turning point is needed to dynamically promote radical change in agricultural development.”
Majority of analysts North Korea’s food The current situation is not as extreme today as it was in 1990s when hundreds of thousands died from famine. Experts disagree. food insecurity is likely at its worst since Kim took power in 2011, after COVID-19 restrictions further shocked an economy battered by decades of mismanagement and crippling U.S.-led sanctions imposed over Kim’s nuclear program.
Early 2020 North Korea Russia tried to protect its people from the coronavirus through strict border control that hampered trade with China. China was its economic and main ally. Russia’s war on Ukraine may have made matters worse by raising global prices. foodFertilizer, energy, and fuel. on This North Korea’s agricultural production is heavily dependent.
You have spent more than 2 years under strict pandemic lockdown. North Korea Last year, freight trains with Russia and China were reopened. The majority of the freight trains are more than 90%. North Korea’s official external trade goes through its border with China.
The last year was North Korea’s grain production was estimated at 4.5 million tons, a 3.8% drop from 2020, according to South Korean government assessments. According to South Korean government assessments, the The North Based on previous South Korean data, it was believed to have produced between 4.49 million and 4.8 million tonnes of grain each year from 2012-2021.
North Korea needs about 5.5 million tons of grain to feed its 25 million people annually, so it’s short about 1 million tons this year. In past years, half of such a gap was usually met by unofficial grain purchases from China, with the rest remaining as unresolved shortfall, according to Kwon Tae-jin, a senior economist at the private GS&J Institute in South Korea.
Kwon believes that trade restrictions imposed by the pandemic likely have hindered rice imports from China. By North According to him, the Korean authorities’ attempts to control market activities and increase controls have only exacerbated the problem.
It’s unclear whether North Korea We will quickly take all necessary actions to address it food problems. Some experts say North Korea will use this week’s plenary meeting to increase public support for Kim in his battles with the United States (and its allies) over his nuclear ambitions.
Kim, despite limited resources has aggressively pushed to increase his missile and nuclear weapon programs in order to press Washington into accepting the idea. North as a nuclear force and to lift international sanctions on it. In 2022 after a record year in weapons testing, North Korea This month, the United States launched an intercontinental missile system and several other weapons.