North Korean Leader Admits to Food Crisis.

Kim Jong-un has publicly admitted to the serious food shortages in North Korea, telling a meeting of senior leaders on June 16, “The people’s food situation is now getting tense.”

In April, the dictator publicly referred to the coming hardship, urging officials to ‘wage another difficult Arduous March’. The Arduous March was the period of famine in the 1990s which saw millions of people die of starvation.

It is very unusual for Kim Jong-un to publicly express the difficulties of the food situation at an official meeting, and to report it to the central media – the Kim family are treated like gods in North Korea, and rarely admit to problems or mistakes. It is a sign of how serious the situation is inside North Korea that the country’s leader would admit to the crisis they are facing.

Selling homes to buy food

Chronic food shortages and rising prices are hitting many North Korean families hard, from farmers to urban families. A DailyNK source has said, “A growing number of people have sold their homes and are roaming around.” This desperation for food is leading to an increase in homelessness, with many families now living on the streets or at railway stations. Farmers are already running out of stock, and they don’t expect much of a harvest this year, as the complete lockdown has prevented agricultural supplies including fertilizer, pesticides and other chemicals from being imported from outside. Access to international food aid is almost zero. The UN estimates that 10 million people, or 40 per cent of the total population, are in need of urgent food aid.

North Korean officials blame the food crisis on the COVID-19 lockdowns, the resulting fall in trade, last year’s floods, and the agricultural sector’s failure to meet grain targets due to lack of fertilizer and pesticide. However, North Korea’s humanitarian situation has long been a problem, with the nation’s leaders following a policy of isolation and continuing nuclear investment while the North Korean people starve.

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North Korean leadership has admitted to a food crisis, affecting millions of people.

Self-reliance vs relying on God

‘Self-reliance’ is Pyongyang’s most prized attribute, but this attitude has seen the country fall into its darkest times. Despite millions of ordinary people needing assistance, the country’s leaders are unlikely to ask for help. If Kim continues to push away all available international support, instead focusing on nuclear weapons, millions of ordinary North Korean people are the ones who will pay the price.

Thanks to your prayers and support, and the goodness of God, Open Doors is able to supply persecuted North Korean believers with emergency relief aid through our networks in China, and these vital supplies will help to keep our brothers and sisters who receive them alive. We also know that many North Korean believers continue a practice known as ‘holy rice’, sharing what they have, even if it isn’t much, with those in need. Your prayers and support mean the difference between life and death to those who receive this help.

Please pray

Please continue to cry out to God for North Korea and its people. In Matthew 19:26, Jesus said, “With God, all things are possible.” It is God whose mighty power can break through any barrier, even those that seem impossible in man’s eyes. Please pray for this dark situation in North Korea. Pray for the secret believers, who are crying out to God for this situation. Pray for North Korean leaders’ hearts to feel the fire of the Spirit. Pray that this is done in the name of Jesus.

This is my prayer:

Heavenly Father, please hear our prayers! The great darkness of this prison country of North Korea continues, and in tears we cry out to you. Today many are facing starvation and persecution, and the country’s leaders’ eyes aren’t focusing on their primary role, to protect their own people. Please answer our prayers, and touch the Kim family and their hearts. Help them to listen to North Korean people’s crying for food, freedom and justice. This is a land that once praised your name greatly, by declaring the Pyongyang as the Second Jerusalem of the East. This land is built upon your name. May your name be freely praised there again. I pray, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

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