North Korean flags – illustration photo.
Seoul – The food crisis in North Korea appears to be worsening. South Korea's Unification Ministry said. South Korean media reported that the DPRK has reduced the food rations received by the soldiers, informs the Reuters agency. According to Seoul, the DPRK is negotiating with the World Food Program (WFP) to provide aid, but so far to no avail. Pyongyang did not respond to the South Korean claims.
“Its food situation appears to have worsened,” South Korea's Unification Ministry, which is in charge of relations with the neighboring country, said of the DPRK. At the same time, it pointed to previous information from the North Korean state media, according to which an extraordinary meeting of the party leadership had been called regarding the situation in agriculture. This is a rare step, according to Reuters.
South Korea's Unification Minister Kwon Jong-se said that the DPRK is in talks with the WFP to provide food aid. According to him, the talks have so far not been successful due to disputes over the control of aid. Kwon also talks about the deteriorating availability of food in the DPRK. “So far, it doesn't look like there are masses of people dying of hunger (in the DPRK),” the minister said.
According to the South Korean press, the DPRK has reduced food rations for its soldiers. That would be the first time since 2000. In January, the US-based analysis group 38 North said that the DPRK's food supply was at its worst level since the country's famine in the 1990s.
North Korea has repeatedly in recent decades faced food shortages. Food supply is greatly affected by natural elements and meteorological factors that impact harvest levels. The isolated DPRK is also subject to severe international sanctions over its missile and nuclear weapons programs.