North Korea has never been the most efficient of countries when it comes to providing food to its citizens.
In the 1990s, the hermit kingdom experienced one of the worst famines in the modern era. Hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions, of people died of starvation, and the event was later deemed the “March of Hardship.”
Former Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il banned the words “famine” and “hunger,” since they implied that his regime was failing, and if anyone said that the sudden increase in deaths was because of hunger, there would be harsh punishment.
Now, as the country faces another famine, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is actually admitting there is a problem, according to a CNBC report.
The dictator labeled the current situation as “tense,” and claimed that North Korea’s agricultural sector “failed to fulfill its grain production plan” in the aftermath of a typhoon last year.
The Pyongyang Times, which is a state-controlled media outlet, reported that during a central committee meeting of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Kim said that “having a good crop is a militant task our party and state must fulfill as a top priority issue to provide the people with a stable life and successfully step up socialist construction.”
Kim followed by lamenting that “the conditions and environment for the revolutionary struggle have become worse upon entering this year” but asserted that “the country’s economy has shown improvement as a whole.”
NK News, which is a reliable, South Korean-American news service that reports on events within North Korea, furthered that an internal source told it that the country is experiencing a price spike, with shampoo selling for $200 per bottle and a kilogram (2.2 lbs) of bananas going for $45.
If this is what we’re calling improvement, I’d hate to see what a recession looks like.
According to the Pyongyang Times, the leader concluded by establishing that “directing all efforts to farming this year” would be one of the state’s top priorities for the rest of the year, among other domestic and international concerns.
Naturally, abusive dictators don’t care about their people, so in actuality, Kim is preparing for a visit from Pope Francis rather than procuring food or reshaping economic policies.
TIMES UK: Visit by Pope Francis to North Korea being planned, according to South Korea’s intelligence chief
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) July 9, 2021
The fact that Kim Jong Un is actually admitting the problem almost certainly means that the suffering is beyond imaginable, and that the country could be facing something far worse than the 1990s.
If the government could deny the problem, it would — and the fact that it isn’t doing so implies that it must be so obvious that the populace is unhappy with the government they have been brainwashed to worship.
I doubt that, as a result of pandemic-related border restrictions, the usual aid from China will come. The country will truly be left on its own.
The people living there did not choose to live in arguably the most tyrannical country on the planet, and my heart goes out to them. Nobody deserves to see their family waste away.
I would say that I hope for change in North Korea, but I don’t think there will be any for a very long time.
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