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Suspected Food Crisis, North Korea Holds Rare Conference

Suspected Food Crisis, North Korea Holds Rare Conference – North Korea reportedly started a high-level conference on agriculture on Sunday (26/2/2023). The meeting was held amid allegations that Pyongyang's people were running out of food and there were reports of death from starvation.

The meeting did not say how many days it would last, but it would be held in plenary, especially to seek a turning point for radical changes in agricultural development.

North Korea's plenary meetings are the main decision-making venue for the ruling Workers' Party. Kim Jong Un holds plenary meetings two to four times a year. But this is the first time the North Korean Workers' Party has held a meeting discussing only agricultural issues.

1. A rare gathering focused on agriculture

Suspected Food Crisis, North Korea Holds Rare Conference
( Bamin)

A high-level meeting discussing agricultural issues, which was reported by North Korea's official state media, was considered a rare meeting. This is because it was held just two months after the meeting focused on the same issue.

As reported by France24, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un opened the meeting. Kim is also said to have presided over the opening plenary meeting of top officials of the ruling Workers' Party.

It was explained that the meeting was to conduct an analysis and review of the rural revolution program in the new era. In addition, the meeting will also decide on important immediate tasks and urgent tasks.

There are no further details about the new programs and tasks that will be implemented. However, it is reported that the participants unanimously agreed on the agenda and discussed it.

2. Most of North Korea's resources are devoted to its nuclear program

Most analysts explain that the current food situation in North Korea has expanded. Some say the food insecurity is the worst since Kim Jong Un took power in Pyongyang in 2011.

Food shortages are expected to worsen due to the Russian war in Ukraine. This is because it makes global food, energy, and fertilizer prices increase.

As reported by the Associated Press, it is not known in detail whether Pyongyang is taking steps to overcome food shortages. The isolated country is said to devote most of its resources to its nuclear program.

"To produce more grain, they have to increase inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, and agricultural machinery. But North Korea rarely does that," said Nam Sung-Wook, a professor at Korea University in South Korea.

3. North Korea is estimated to be short of 1 million tons of grain

Suspected Food Crisis, North Korea Holds Rare Conference
( Brandli)

According to data compiled by South Korea, Pyongyang produced 4.5 million tonnes of grain last year. It experienced a decrease of 3.8 percent compared to the previous. From 2012-2021, North Korea produced between 4.4 million tons and 4.8 million tons of grain annually.

However, North Korea needs about 5.5 million tons of grain to feed its 25 million people. So for this year, it is estimated that the country will experience a shortage of around 1 million tonnes.

As reported by Al Jazeera, last week the official North Korean government newspaper called for economic independence. Relying on external assistance to deal with a food situation is like taking poisoned candy.

Economic independence is part of the struggle against the imperialists. The imperialists are said to be carrying the cloak of collaboration and assistance as if other countries are in economic trouble and cannot overcome the crisis without their support

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