February 21, 2023 11:31
The food shortage in parts of North Korea is so severe that people are starving to death, the Unification Ministry said Monday.
"We believe some parts of the North are suffering from such a severe food shortage that people are dying of starvation," ministry spokesman Koo Byoung-sam told reporters.
The protracted coronavirus lockdown made things even more difficult for the country, which has chronically suffered from malnutrition and famine. Last fall the regime started regulating food distribution centrally, which may, if anything, have exacerbated the situation.
Koo backtracked on Unification Minister Kwon Young-se's remark last week that he does not think people are starving to death, explaining that Kwon only meant to say that starvation is not as acute as during the "arduous march" of the 1990s, when millions died of hunger.
One of the world's poorest countries, North Korea spends all its resources on military buildup, with a series of missile provocations culminating in the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile last Saturday.
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