A severe food crisis has hit North Korea where prices of essential food items have increased sharply, according to state-run news agency Korean Central News Agency. It reported that the country’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un has accepted that the situation is “tense” in view of the acute food shortage.
”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,” said Kim Jong-un.
Read | Kim Jong Un warns of ‘tense’ food situation, longer Covid lockdown in North Korea
The report suggested that the prices of food items have shot up sharply in the country’s capital Pyongyang, with bananas selling for $45 or Rs 3,335 per kilogram, a packet of black tea for $70 or Rs 5,190 and a packet of coffee for $100 or Rs 7,414.
At the central committee meeting, the supreme leader reportedly asked party leaders to resolve the food shortage as soon as possible.
As per the state-run media report, North Korea is facing a food crisis due to failed agricultural output. A report by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation suggests that North Korea is short of 8,60,000 tonne of food.
While Kim Jong-un has asked for a speedy solution to the crisis, it is unclear how the nation will overcome the hurdle, given that its borders remain closed due to Covid-19.
Though North Korea has not confirmed any Covid-19 cases, it has imposed strict restrictions including border closures and domestic travel restrictions. It may be noted that the country relies on China for many items that it cannot price including food and fuel.