Kim Jong admits North Korea running out of food as packet of coffee costs $100

  • In North Korea, a small packet of black tea have gone up to $70 ( 5,167), a packet of coffee can fetch more than $100 ( 7,381 approx.)
  • North Korean farmers were asked to contribute 2 liters of their urine each day to help produce fertilizer

Livemint, Edited By Staff Writer
Updated18 Jun 2021, 03:33 PM IST
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (AFP)

North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un has admitted that the country is witnessing a severe food crisis. In a recent meeting, Kim acknowledged the grim situation and said North Korea's food supply is strained and "getting tense", according to a report in CNN.

In the capital Pyongyang, prices of some staple goods have reportedly touched new highs in recent months. While non-staple items such as a small packet of black tea have gone up to $70 ( 5,167), a packet of coffee can fetch more than $100 ( 7,381 approx.) , and 1 Kg of bananas have soared to $45.

Recently, United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that North Korea is short of approximately 860,000 tons of food, or equivalent to just over two months of nationwide supplies.

A report by Radio Free Asia claimed that some North Korean farmers were asked to contribute 2 liters of their urine each day to help produce fertilizer.

Despite the worrying situation, Kim suggested borders will remain shut, stating the state will maintain its “perfect anti-epidemic state under the present condition.”

North Korea has closed its borders to contain the spread of Covid-19.

North Korea relies heavily on imports and aid from China to fill gaps that local food production can’t cover. As a result trade with China has plummeted.

The country is also struggling under international sanctions, imposed because of its nuclear programmes.

This year in April Kim made a rare admission of looming hardship, calling on officials to "wage another, more difficult 'Arduous March' to relieve our people of the difficulty, even a little".

The Arduous March is a term used by North Korean officials to refer to the period of mass starvation from 1994 to 1998.

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First Published:18 Jun 2021, 03:33 PM IST
HomeNewsworldKim Jong admits North Korea running out of food as packet of coffee costs $100

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