Pedestrians walk on a street as it snows in Pyongyang on December 18, 2021. (Photo by KIM Won Jin / AFP) (Photo by KIM WON JIN/AFP via Getty Images)
North Korea Faces Life-Endangering Food Shortage In The Wake Of COVID
By Nick Johnson
Even though North Korea practices a brand of militaristic isolationism and is a country shrouded in mystery, it still cannot escape from the ripple effects of global events. The recent breakdown in North Korea's economy has not been helped by the dual threats of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising global inflation, which leaves the country on the precipice of famine.
The stressors on the nation's supply chain include an aggressive policy of self-isolation geared toward curtailing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, domestic inflation, and the global rise in food prices. The report also notes that corn is an increasingly common fixture of North Korean citizens' pantries because rice, generally the more popular crop, has become inaccessibly expensive.
Additionally, the country's food supply has been diminished by natural disasters, including floods and typhoons in 2020, per ABC News. Unfortunately, by the time the disasters struck, North Korea's COVID-19 restrictions had already rendered the nation incapable of trading with its primary economic ally, China.
Food insecurity is by no means an unfamiliar issue for the citizens of North Korea, a large portion of whom subsist on simple staples like rice and corn porridge, even at the best of times. There's also a glaring discrepancy between the common people's struggle to find food and leader Kim Jong Un's appetite for meat-laden pizzas and rare spirits.