North Korea orders city workers, students to farms amid escalating starvation deaths

Photo from Pen News

North Korea has ordered government officials and students to help with farming in South Hwanghae Province, as the country faces a severe food shortage. It has been reported that starvation deaths in the country have tripled over the past year. Russian diplomats have also been called upon to provide “goodwill labour” on vegetable farms.

Government officials and students were sent from Pyongyang to the South Hwanghae Province farms, according to a South Korean newspaper, Daily NK. The region, known as North Korea’s “breadbasket,” is more suitable for agriculture due to its flat terrain and fewer mountains. Locals told Daily NK that accommodation had been set up for the volunteers across farmland in the province. The areas with faster rice growth had water and fertiliser resources as well as a high number of volunteers planting seedlings.

Even Russian diplomats were requested for “goodwill labour,” with propaganda photos showing consular staff working on a vegetable farm near Nampo city. The Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported that the diplomats assisted in weeding at a vegetable farm around 13 kilometres southwest of the Russian embassy in Pyongyang. The embassy’s Facebook page revealed that the farm was currently cultivating potatoes, corn, and soybeans, with the diplomats receiving a share of the crops for their help.

However, the situation differs for local villagers who have seen a significant increase in starvation deaths, particularly in the northern border regions. Yu Sang-bom, a villager near the border, disclosed that corn prices in North Korea had surged by 60% and rice by 30% from the previous year, reaching their highest levels since Kim Jong-un’s rise to power.

World News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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