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Food is Becoming More Scarce Again in North Korea

by Katharina Buchholz

Ahead of the U.S.-North Korea summit in the Vietnamese city of Hanoi, the North Korean government has released a statement announcing a shortfall of 1.4 million tons of food for 2019. The government citied adverse weather as well as United Nations sanctions for the lack of food for the country’s citizens. As a result, food rations in the dictatorship notorious for its strict government control and isolation from the international community are expected to almost be cut in half.

North Korea has long been dependent on imports to meet its citizens’ nutritional needs. A lot of these goods come from China, especially since strict sanctions have cut off other sources. North Korea saw major famines in the mid-1990s but could gradually improve its food security in the following two decades, as shown by the country’s standing on the Global Hunger Index.

Recently, there has been an uptick again in hunger-related problems in the country. The current dip in food production, combined with lacking imports have made problems more severe for many citizens. The United Nations said their officials were consulting the North Korean government to find solutions to the new looming food crisis.

 

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