North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned of “difficult” times and even alluded to the “arduous march” of the 1990s as the response to a famine in the Asian country is known to have no precedents from which he has suffered.
The fall of the Soviet Union plunged North Korea into a period of economic decline in the 1990s that, along with meteorological disasters, resulted in severe shortages and estimated to cause up to three million deaths.
During a meeting with individual party leaders, Kim warned the rest of the officials of the “obstacles and difficulties” that lay ahead, to the point that he called them on “another tougher” arduous march ” with the aim of ultimately alleviating the potential suffering of the population, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.
“Our party does not expect sudden opportunities to pave the way for our people and to fulfill the great aim and ideal of building socialism and communism,” the leader proclaimed in his speech, in which he claimed to be a “fighter” face of what might come.
“Just as mothers are always concerned for the life and growth of their children and to guide them on the right path, party cell secretaries should patiently educate and guide members with affection and devotion,” he added.
North Korea has been further shielded since the coronavirus pandemic began, although it has not officially recognized any contagion. According to the few organizations with information, the country has been in a dire humanitarian situation in recent years.
The United Nations estimated the number of malnourished people at around 10 million, and the border closure would only have increased prices for basic products. In addition, as Amnesty International notes in its latest human rights report, the risk of food shortages has worsened following the rains and typhoons in August and September that damaged infrastructure and agricultural fields.