Kim Jong-un orders fundamental transformation in agriculture

North Korean President Kim Jong-un ordered government officials to work on a fundamental transformation in agriculture production, amidst growing fears of a worse food shortage in the country, state media reported on Tuesday.

Hitting the country’s the targets of grain production this year was the government’s top priority, according to state news agency KCNA.

Jong-un stressed during the second day of the seventh enlarged plenary meeting of the eighth central committee of the Worker’s party of Korea on Monday, on the importance of a steady agriculture production.

Despite not mentioning the measures needed to be taken, Jong-un said the changes need to happen in the next few years.

The government has been denying any suggestions that it cannot provide for its citizens, on the other hand, the South Korean Unification Ministry said the food situation in the North seems to be deteriorating.

“The growth of the agriculture productive forces is important in ensuring socialist construction,” stated Jong-un in his address at Monday’s meeting.

Food insecurity in North Korea is at its worst since famines that devastated the country in the 1990s, said the US- based 38 North project said in a January report.

“Food availability has likely fallen below the bare minimum with regard to human need,” the report mentioned. The country’s pursuit of self-sufficiency leaves it vulnerable, as all its grain is produced domestically.

“Achieving adequate agriculture output in North Korea’s unfavorable soils, generated a heavy reliance on imported goods and left the country exposed to global shocks, diplomatic conflicts and adverse weather,” the report added.

North Korea has been under strict international sanctions over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, and it heavily impacted the country’s economy, especially during self-imposed border lockdowns in order to stop COVID-19 outbreaks.

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