North Korea’s most vulnerable population is “at risk of starvation” in the face of the worsening economic situation brought about by the country’s blockade on the coronavirus and international sanctions for its nuclear program, warns a UN report.
The impoverished nation adopted a strict blockade early last year to protect itself from the pandemic, which has weakened its economy and reduced trade with China, North Korea’s main ally, to a minimum.
State channel KCTV admitted in July that North Korea was facing a “food crisis,” with a struggling agricultural sector struggling to feed the population.
In the same month, leader Kim Jong Un declared that the food situation was “getting tense”.
The North Koreans “fight daily (…) to lead a life with dignity” and the worsening humanitarian situation could “turn into a crisis”, highlights in the report Tomas Ojea Quintana, UN special rapporteur for human rights.
Pyongyang faces multiple international sanctions for its nuclear and ballistic programs, which have advanced rapidly under Kim’s rule.
Quintana says restrictions should be eased to protect the country’s most vulnerable in the face of severe food shortages.
“The most vulnerable children and elderly people are at risk of hunger,” he added.
“The sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council must be reviewed and eased when necessary to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance,” the report states.
The document was released three months after the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said that North Korea faces a shortage of nearly 860,000 tons of food this year.
Pyongyang has abandoned negotiations over its nuclear program since the failure of the second summit between Kim and then US President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2019.
With current President Joe Biden, Washington has declared a willingness to meet with North Korean representatives, while insisting on pursuing denuclearization.
But this week, Kim Jong Un blamed Washington for strained relations and said nuclear weapons are defensive, not aimed at any particular country.
+ Until 2019, there were more people in prisons than on the Brazilian stock exchange
+ Aloe gel in the drink: see the benefits
+ Lemon-squeezing trick becomes a craze on social media
+ Chef playmate creates aphrodisiac recipe for Orgasm Day
+ Mercedes-Benz Sprinter wins motorhome version
+ Anorexia, an eating disorder that can lead to death
+ US agency warns: never wash raw chicken meat
+ Yasmin Brunet breaks the silence
+ Shark is captured in MA with the remains of youngsters missing in the stomach
+ See how much it costs to eat at the MasterChef judges’ restaurants
+ Auction of cars and motorcycles from Kombi to Nissan Frontier 0km