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N. Korea Reportedly Tackling Food Shortage with Military Rice Stocks

Written: 2023-03-15 15:15:33Updated: 2023-03-15 15:33:35

N. Korea Reportedly Tackling Food Shortage with Military Rice Stocks

Photo : YONHAP News

Multiple sources in China familiar with North Korea issues say that Pyongyang has released emergency military rice reserves to address its food shortage.

One source on Wednesday quoted North Korean trade workers in China as saying that the lack of food is so dire that the regime was releasing the military’s rice reserves to civilians in a highly unusual move.

According to another source, the North ordered its trading merchants that do business in China to secure 600-thousand tons of rice, wheat and corn.

The source added that Pyongyang sent a notice to North Koreans working in China last Saturday ordering a contribution of one-thousand yuan, or 190-thousand won, each, from the estimated 80-thousand to 100-thousand-strong contingent.

Mainly working in textile manufacturing, restaurants, fisheries businesses or IT-related companies in Chinese cities near the border with the North, including Dandong, Hunchun and Tumen, the monthly wages of such workers are estimated to be between 474-thousand and 758-thousand won.

The sources’ comments come as UN Special Rapporteur for North Korea's human rights, Elizabeth Salmón, said last Thursday in a report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council that 42 percent of the North’s population is suffering from malnutrition due to food shortage.

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