Monday, May 11, 2009

North Korea focuses on food production

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has called for a "decisive turning-point" this year in ending the country's long-running food shortage. The ruling communist party's daily Rodong Sinmun described solving the problem as the nation's most pressing task.

South Korea's unification ministry said in February that the North's food production would fall more than one million tons short of demand this year.

The North suffered famine in the 1990s which killed hundreds of thousands. Poor weather was blamed but analysts said the inefficient command economy also played a large part.

Since then it has relied on overseas aid to feed millions of its people. However North Korea in March refused to accept further food aid from the United States. South Korea also did not make its customary shipment of hundreds of thousands of tons of rice and fertilizer last year because the North failed to request the deliveries.


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