North Korea’s Kim orders ‘radical change’ in agriculture | Agriculture

North Korea’s leader is urging officials to meet production targets after South Korea warns of a “serious” food crisis.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for a “radical change” in agricultural production amid concerns over reported food shortages in the isolated country.

Kim stressed the importance of meeting grain production targets and transforming production to lay “the foundation for stable and sustained agricultural development” during the second day of a key party meeting, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported on Tuesday.

“He expressed the Party Central Committee’s firm determination and determination to bring about a revolutionary turnaround in agricultural production without fail, saying that nothing is impossible as long as the strong leadership system is established throughout the Party and it is the unified power. of all people,” KCNA said.

Kim, the third generation of his family to rule secretive North Korea, made his comments less than a week after South Korea’s unification ministry said its northern neighbor appeared to be facing a “serious” food crisis and that it had received reports of starvation deaths.

In a report last month, US-based think tank 38 North said North Korea’s 2020-21 harvest cycle “had probably failed to meet minimum human needs” and that the country was now teetering on the brink of famine.

“The evidence presented so far points to a significant deterioration in living conditions and an ongoing complex humanitarian emergency with food insecurity at its core,” the report said.

“The long-term solution to North Korea’s chronic food insecurity lies in part in a resolution of the nuclear issue – potentially bringing significant economic sanctions, along with a less militaristic and revanchist posture, as well as resumption of trade with the US and its allies.”

North Korea has often suffered from food shortages, including a devastating famine in the 1990s that is estimated to have killed somewhere between 240,000 and 3.5 million people. Analysts say the current food shortage was triggered by a combination of poor harvests and extreme weather, as well as shutdowns and reduced trade with China during the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper last week called for greater economic self-reliance and objected to accepting aid from “imperialists”, comparing external aid to “poisoned candy”.

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