UN researcher: Vulnerable North Koreans threaten to succumb to famine

The corona crisis threatens children and elderly people in North Korea to succumb to famine. A special rapporteur from the United Nations warns that.

The country is facing a growing shortage of food due to the pandemic. This is because imports of fertilizer and other agricultural products from China are lagging behind. International sanctions, including imposed by the UN, contribute to the import problems.

Before the pandemic, some 40 percent of North Koreans were already suffering from food insecurity, but that rate has increased considerably due to the price of food stuffs.

Strict coronavirus rules have been in force in the country since January last year. National borders are closed, among other things, and there are strict travel restrictions between cities and regions.

The measures have led to serious economic problems, according to the rapporteur. There is also less humanitarian aid possible and the countrys inhabitants have become further isolated due to the pandemic. Many families can no longer support themselves and the number of homeless people is increasing.

Kim Jong-un: Grim Economic Situation

It became clear last Monday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has instructed his officials to focus the full focus on the population. He believes it suffers from an โ€œunprecedented grim economic situation.โ€

According to Kim Jong-un, living conditions and food supplies need to be improved through a five-year national plan. It is not common for the North Korean leader to speak negatively about his country. Hardly anything is known about the scale of the pandemic in the country.