North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has admitted that the country will have to go through hungry times. Many embassies and humanitarian organizations have already closed their work in the DPRK. The country was put on the verge of mass starvation by an ultra-strict coronavirus quarantine. Enemies of the people and saboteurs are accused of trying to import COVID into the country. Another source of threat is certain yellow dust from China.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has admitted that his country is facing a large-scale famine. Speaking on Thursday at the VI conference of party secretaries of the ruling Workers Party of Korea (WPK), the North Korean leader called for preparing for a repeat of the вЂњDifficult campaignвЂќ. This is how the official terminology refers to the mass famine of 1995-97, which, according to UN estimates, claimed the lives of 2 million people.
вЂњI have decided to ask the organizations of the WPK at all levels, including the central committee, and all the cell secretaries of the entire party to start a new, even more, difficult campaign, вЂњthe state news agency KCNA quotedвЂќ dear Comrade Kim Jong-un вЂњ as saying. This is the first time that the head of North Korea draws parallels with the situation of the 90s. In the same speech, Kim complained that the party cells on the ground have to work in the most difficult conditions, and mentioned some mistakes in the work of the organizations of the WPK that need to be corrected.
The difficult situation disorganized, among other things, the work of the diplomatic corps. At the beginning of April, the diplomatic missions of 12 states вЂ” including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Italy, as well as all foreign personnel of international humanitarian organizations-stopped working in the country.
Diplomats, вЂњ leaving the Korean capital can be understood вЂ” not everyone can withstand the unprecedented severity of total restrictions, the acute shortage of necessary goods, including medicines, the lack of opportunities to solve health problems.вЂќ
The reasons for the introduction of total restrictions were recently mentioned by the head of the State Council and General Secretary of the Central Committee of the WPK, Kim Jong вЂ” un-and such frankness can also be called unprecedented for North Korean politics.
As reported by the Associated Press, Kim said North Korea is facing the вЂњworstвЂќ situation due to several factors, including the coronavirus pandemic, US-led sanctions, and the severe flooding the country experienced last summer. It should be noted that there are no officially mass cases of COVID-19 in North Korea, due to the fact that the country's leadership closed the borders, and in January 2020 introduced a high-alert mode.
AP recalls вЂ” in 2020, after the border between North Korea and China was closed as part of strict measures to combat the pandemic, the trade turnover between the DPRK and almost its only serious economic partner decreased by 80%.
From the analytical material, which was published in mid-March by the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), it follows that the import of Chinese food, personal hygiene products, medicines, and other essential goods fell to almost zero.
вЂњThe new extreme measures introduced by the government may be an attempt to return to the super вЂ” strict controls
that took place in the past decades when the government regulated all information and distribution of products and materials while prohibiting the operation of theвЂќ free marketвЂќ, вЂ” said HRW expert Lina Yun.
According to the human rights organization, the country has returned to the card system of distribution of essential goods. HRW also recalls that the strict regulation that the previous leader Kim Jong Il resorted to in the early 1990s after the collapse of the USSR, just led to mass starvation.
It should be noted that according to experts on North Korea, during the reign of Kim Jong-un, the regime just went to democratize the economy, and the situation in the country began to resemble the Chinese economy in the first stages of Deng Xiaoping's reforms.
According to Human Rights Watch experts, the North Korean regime is afraid of the coronavirus entering the country through some вЂњ yellow dust that penetrates through the Chinese border.вЂќ Indeed, back in October 2020, North Korean television urged citizens to go out less when the wind carries yellow dust from neighboring China. As explained by the BBC, it could mean seasonal dust storms despite the fact that there is no scientific data on dust as a carrier of coronavirus.