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Unification Ministry: ‘Grave’ Food Crisis in North Causing Deaths

Written: 2023-02-20 13:44:06Updated: 2023-02-20 14:41:13

Unification Ministry: ‘Grave’ Food Crisis in North Causing Deaths

Photo : YONHAP News

The unification ministry said the food shortage crisis in North Korea is "grave," with reports of people dying from starvation.

Ministry spokesperson Koo Byoung-sam said on Monday that the analysis is based on data closely shared between related agencies on the food situation inside the communist regime.

Seeking to clarify comments by unification minister Kwon Young-se last week before parliament that there does not seem to be continuous starvation-driven deaths, Koo explained that the minister meant that the death toll is smaller than that of the Arduous March in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, the minister had also told the National Assembly that he had learned during recent talks with World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley that Pyongyang had requested food aid, which was later refuted by the UN agency.

The ministry spokesperson explained that Kwon had verified circumstances suggesting the North's wish for global assistance despite the lack of a formal request.

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