According to press reports, North Korea will face an alarming food shortage this year due to the measures imposed to contain the emerging Corona virus (Covid 19), which threatens to "another famine" in the isolated communist countries.

According to the newspaper, "South Korea", quoted by the South Korean Ministry of Unity, on Tuesday, the shortage of food in the north may reach 860 thousand tons.

In an effort to manage the crisis, North Korea's state media has called on the country's citizens to increase agricultural production, in order to bridge the shortfall caused by declining imports.

North Korea is facing difficulties in importing due to Western sanctions imposed, due to the nuclear and missile program, as well as the closure of borders due to the outbreak of the Corona epidemic.

An official at the South Korean Unification Ministry stated that the North has had difficulties importing grain since the border was closed in January, in order to fight the epidemic.

Last year, North Korea produced 4.64 million tons of grain, 15 percent less than the 5.5 million tons ceiling it needs to meet the needs of its citizens.

Moreover, North Korea suffers a chronic shortage, estimated at 1 million tons of grain, annually, and it is mostly imported from neighboring and allied China.

On Monday, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization indicated that countries with fragile diets may suffer crises from the aftermath of the emerging Corona virus.

Experts say that North Korea desperately needs to achieve self-sufficiency until the end of the year, pending the holding of the US presidential elections, especially since Pyongyang is betting that it remains in a strong position against the United States.

Last June, South Korea provided 50,000 tons of rice to North Korea through the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

North Korea suffered a prolonged famine between 1994 and 1998, due to various factors ranging from the loss of Soviet support to what was described as "mismanagement", as well as the volatile seasons between floods and droughts.

Source agencies

By : Nadeemy Haded

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