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Why North Korea Isn’t On UN’s Food Crisis Report for the 7th Consecutive Year

Daniel Kim Views  

Rural areas of Gaepung County, North Hwanghae Province, North Korea.

North Korea, a country chronically suffering from food shortages, has been excluded from the United Nations’ “Food Crisis Countries” list for the seventh consecutive year due to a lack of data on its food situation.

According to News1 on the 25th, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that North Korea was not included in the list of food crisis countries in the 2024 World Food Crisis Report published by the Global Network for Food Crisis Response, which includes the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP), and the European Union (EU).

In a report published last year by the FAO’s “World Food Information and Early Warning System,” North Korea was included among countries that requested external support or were facing a food shortage shock.

Voice of America (VOA) also reported that the FAO had recently designated North Korea as a country needing external food aid for the 18th consecutive year in its “Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report.”

Accordingly, this report included North Korea and 72 other countries as “potential food crisis countries.” Still, North Korea was excluded from the list due to a lack of confirmed data or evidence to generate corresponding estimates.

The report stated, “North Korea has been included in all World Food Crisis Reports, but there has been a lack of information on severe food situations for the past seven years.”

It also explained that “North Korea does not announce statistics on food production” and “According to Chinese customs data in 2020, China’s total exports of grain and fertilizer to North Korea were at a similar level to the increase in 2019.”

The report pointed out, “The North Korean government announced that it achieved 103% of its 2023 food production target, but there is almost no verified data on the availability of inputs for agriculture, such as the public distribution system, food prices, fertilizers, improved seeds, agricultural equipment, and farm machinery.”

RFA speculated that North Korea’s food situation is either not as difficult as it was during the “Arduous March” in the 1990s or the country is not disclosing its food situation due to political judgment.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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