Seoul’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) claimed that North Korea is releasing emergency military rice reserves amid an ongoing food shortage in the region.
Rep. Ha Tae-keung of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party said that the NIS briefed them of North Korea’s situation during a closed-door parliamentary committee meeting.
Ha said that North Korea has resorted to distributing rice reserved for wartime use to citizens left with little food, other laborers and rural state agencies after an ongoing heatwave and drought have wiped out the agricultural industry of the country.
Another politician, Kim Byung-kee added that North Korea is currently short of 1 million tonnes of from its 5.5 million tonne quota to feed its 26 million population.
Last June, North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un urged officials to find ways to boost agricultural production because their food situation “is now getting tense”.
North Korea has already suffered a serious food shortage in the 1990s that lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
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