Oct 13, 2021 - World

UN report: North Korea faces growing food crisis, economic hardship

Kim Jong Un, North Korea's leader, poses for a photograph.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

North Korea faces a growing food crisis that has left children and elderly people at risk of starvation, a UN investigator said in a report out Wednesday.

Driving the news: Prolonged and strict measures implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19 have worsened conditions in the isolated Asian nation and have lead to "severe economic hardship," per the report.

  • North Korea has enforced aggressive measures, including a full-scale border shutdown and restricting imports of nonessential goods, the report states.
  • Over 40% of the population was already "food insecure" before the pandemic, and a large majority of those people were suffering from malnutrition.

What they're saying: "The COVID-19 restrictions and government vigilance against the pandemic have helped avert a possible health crisis," the report states.

  • "At the same time, prolonged isolation and border closures have resulted in food and other health problems and severe economic deprivation for many people across the country," it added.
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