The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Yun, urged citizens to prepare for heavy times. At the party conference, he compared the country’s current situation with the destructive hunger of the 1990s, as a result of which, by different estimates, up to 3 million people died.
The leader of North Korea called on officials to be ready for a “difficult hike”. This euphemism of the country’s power was first used in the mid-90s when North Korea remained without the support of the Soviet Union, which at that time was collapsed. Hunger began in the country, and the fight with him was called a “difficult hike”.
“The fact that Kim Jong Yun talks about the difficulties and adversities faced by the North Korean people is nothing unusual. But the fact that he began to talk about the new “hard campaign” suggests that the situation is dire, “ said the BBC analyst in North Korea in NK News Colin Zvirko.
Sources of Human Rights Watch (HRW) in North Korea are also told about the same. According to their reports, they almost ceased to import food from China. The price of corn, which serves as the main food for most of the rural residents of North Korea, has recently been growing, and kilograms of corn cost more monthly salary.
In the border areas with China, where people to survive are smuggling, began to die from hunger because the boundaries are tightly closed. Moreover, according to HRW, North Korea tightened punishment for smuggling, calling it an “antisocialist” and “enemy” behaviour.
The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in North Korea Thomas Ospy Kintan last month warned about a serious food crisis leading to malnutrition and hunger.
“It has been reported on deaths from hunger, as well as the growth of the number of children and the elderly people who are engaged in begging, as families cannot feed them,” he writes in his report.
It is unclear whether any help is currently entering the country. North Korea rejected all the offers of external assistance, and almost all diplomats and humanitarian workers, including employees of the UN World Food Program, left the country.
In addition to everything, last summer, North Korea suffered from two strong storms. They caused a flood and destroyed crops, which led to an even greater food deficit.