North Korea could run out of food in just two months. Concerns are rising that the country is on the verge of another famine that could potentially kill millions of people.
Kim Jong-un has even acknowledged the problem. The North Korean dictator addressed a meeting of senior leaders last week, saying, “The people’s food situation is now getting tense.”
He also said that the agricultural sector had failed to meet targets for grain in 2020, blaming typhoons and floods for the shortage.
NK News – based in Seoul – said that food prices have dramatically increased. One kilogram of bananas now costs $45.
The country was also forced to close its borders with China in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, leading to shortages in food, fertilizer, and fuel.
A recent report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned that the “uncovered food gap is estimated at about 860,000 tonnes’ of grain – the equivalent to two months’ food.”
Kim Jong-un also warned citizens of another “Arduous March,” which was the food crisis in the 1990s that killed up to 3.5 million people.
In April, Kim Jong-un said, “I made up my mind to ask the WPK (Workers’ Party of Korea) organizations at all levels, including its Central Committee and the cell secretaries of the entire party, to wage another more difficult ‘arduous march’ in order to relieve our people of the difficulty, even a little.”
The North Korean dictator, who has visibly shredded of weight recently, suggested that food rationing could be a solution.
As the food crisis and struggling economy loom, the country has also cracked down on the repression of its citizens.
Global internet is banned, and other outside influences have also been stopped. Kim Jong-un banned K-pop banned, describing the genre as a “vicious cancer” plaguing the youth of North Korea.
He believes it is corrupting young people, changing their “attire, hairstyles, speeches and behaviours.”
Anyone who is found guilty of watching South Korean TV dramas could serve between 5 and 15 years of hard labor, the BBC reports.
Disciplinary officers also roam the streets to remove men with long hair or women with inappropriate clothing.
North Korean defector Jung Gwang-il told The New York Times, “Young North Koreans think they owe nothing to Kim Jong-un. He must reassert his ideological control on the young if he doesn’t want to lose the foundation for the future of his family’s dynastic rule.”