Kim Jong-un admits to 'tense' food situation in North Korea
Kim Jong-un's leaner body has sparked further speculation about his health
North Korea's ruler Kim Jong-un has officially admitted that the country is facing food shortages.
Speaking at a high-level executive meeting, Mr. Kim said that "people's nutritional situation is now becoming strained".
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He said the agricultural sector failed to meet its grain targets because of the typhoons last year, which caused widespread flooding.
There have been some reports that food prices have skyrocketed, with NK News reporting that a kilogram of bananas costs $ 45 ($ 32).
North Korea has closed its borders to contain the spread of Covid-19.
As a result, trade with China has collapsed. North Korea relies on China for food, fertilizers and fuel.
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North Korea is also grappling with international sanctions imposed over its nuclear programs.
The authoritarian leader of the one-party state spoke on the food situation in the central committee of the ruling Labor Party, which began this week in the capital Pyongyang.
During the meeting, Mr. Kim said that national industrial production had increased by a quarter compared to the same period last year.
Officials were expected to discuss relations with the US and South Korea during the event, but details have not yet been released.
In April, Mr. Kim made a rare admission of the impending distress and urged the officials to "lead another, more difficult 'Heavy March" to relieve our people of even a little bit of trouble. "
The arduous march is a term used by North Korean officials to refer to the country's struggle during the famine of the 1990s, when the fall of the Soviet Union left North Korea without crucial help.
The total number of North Koreans who died of starvation at the time is unknown, but estimates put it up to 3 million.
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