Drought raises danger of North Korean famine as US threatens nuclear war


Drought raises danger of North Korean famine as US threatens nuclear war

Alex Lantier

14 August 2017

As Trump threatens North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” a drought is raising the danger of famine in the country. With North Korea dependent on food imports to survive, the UN Security Council compounded the danger of famine a week ago, adopting harsh sanctions to isolate its economy.

Last month, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the European Commission’s Joint Research Center issued a report warning that the drought severely damaged North Korea’s rice, maize, potato, and soybean crops. Production of early season crops including wheat, barley, and potatoes has fallen by one-third, from 450,000 to 300,000 tons. This threatens severe food shortages until October-November and the main harvest, which is itself already badly affected.

“So far, seasonal rains in main cereal producing areas have been below the levels of 2001, when cereal production dropped to the unprecedented level of only two million tons, causing a sharp deterioration in food security conditions of a large part of the population,” said Vincent Martin, FAO representative in China and North Korea.

The provinces of South and North Pyongan, South and North Hwanghae and Nampo City, North Korea’s key cereal-producing areas, are badly hit. Martin said, “Immediate interventions are needed to support affected farmers and prevent undesirable coping strategies for the most vulnerable, such as reducing daily food intakes. It is critical now that farmers receive appropriate and timely agricultural assistance, including irrigation equipment and machinery.”

“It has been reported that the North Korean government has recently cut the daily food ration for…

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