Kim Jong Un Warns Failure to Provide Food a ‘Serious Political Issue/AFP
Kim Jong Un Warns Failure to Provide Food a ‘Serious Political Issue
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has emphasized the urgency of finding ways to enhance economic development, deeming the failure to provide basic living necessities, especially food, as a “serious political issue.” This revelation surfaced during Kim’s discussions on regional development at the 19th Enlarged Meeting of the Political Bureau of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
Persisting Food Challenges Despite Increased Trade
Despite a slight uptick in trade with China, the food situation in North Korea remains precarious. South Korea’s unification minister highlighted the ongoing challenges in addressing the basic needs of the North Korean population. The persistent food shortages have been a longstanding issue, with historical famines in the 1990s, often aggravated by natural disasters like floods that damage harvests.
Kim’s Push for Swift Change in Living Standards
Kim Jong Un urged his party to swiftly improve the living standards of people across the nation and bridge the gaps between urban and rural areas through a new regional development policy. He emphasized the dire economic situation, stating, “The overall regional economy is in a terrible situation without elementary conditions.” Kim’s call to action is framed as an imperative response to the severe imbalances and substantial gaps between regions in terms of geography, economic potential, and living circumstances. The leader stressed the need to actively create job opportunities and fulfill the duty to the people, rather than waiting for favorable conditions.
North Korea, already under strict international sanctions due to its banned weapons programs, faced additional economic challenges during the pandemic. The limited border trade was severely hampered by self-imposed lockdowns aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, further intensifying economic pressures on the nation.