Daily US Times: North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has formally acknowledged ‘tense’ food situation in the country.
Mr Kim said while addressing a meeting of senior leaders that “the people’s food situation is now getting tense”.
The North Korean supreme leader said the agricultural sector had failed to meet its grain targets because of last year’s typhoons, which caused widespread flooding.
There are some reports that food prices have spiked, with NK News reporting that one kilogram of bananas cost $45.
North Korea has closed its borders to contain the spread of coronavirus outbreak.
Trade with China, North Korea’s biggest trade partner, has plummeted as a result. North Korea relies on China for food, fuel and fertiliser.
North Korea is also struggling under tremendous international sanctions, imposed because of its nuclear programmes.
The North Korean dictator talked about the food situation at the ruling Workers’ Party central committee which started this week in the capital Pyongyang.
Mr Kim said during the meeting that national industrial output had grown by a quarter compared to the same period last year.
Officials were expected to discuss relations with South Korea and the US during the event but no details have been released yet.
Mr Kim made a rare admission of looming hardship in April, calling on officials to “wage another, more difficult ‘Arduous March’ in order to relieve our people of the difficulty, even a little”.
The Arduous March is a term used by officials in North Korea to refer to the country’s struggle during the 1990s famine, when the fall of the Soviet Union left North Korea without crucial aid.