North Korea warns that it faces food shortages of about 1.4 million tonnes this year and is compelling almost half of the rations, blaming high temperatures, drought, floods and United Nations sanctions, according to a memo of Pyongyang's mission is the world of the body.
The release of the undated two-page memo, seen by the Reuters news agency on Thursday, will arrive before the second summit next week in Hanoi, Vietnam, between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.
Washington has requested that North Korea provide a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States, while Pyongyang is seeking a lifting of punitive sanctions, a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War and the security guarantees.
The 15-member UN Security Council has greatly strengthened sanctions in North Korea since 2006 to beat the funding for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
"The DPRK governm calls on international organizations to respond promptly to the food situation," read the North Korean memo, which was presented by the country's UN mission as a follow-up on the joint assessment of the World Food Program (WFP) between November 26 and December 7, The official name of North Korea is the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK).
No WFP instant comment. According to the memo, North Korea's food production last year was 4.951 million tonnes, 503,000 tonnes from 2017. The UN confirmed these numbers as official government data provided at the end of January and said that North Korea's food production includes rice, wheat, potatoes and soybeans.
North Korea has said it imports 200,000 tonnes of food and produces roughly 400,000 tonnes of early crops, but it still has a space and from January is cut daily allowances to 300 grams for each person from 550 grams.
UN officials and the North Korea Consultative Groups help organizations to "better understand the impact of the food security situation on the poorest people to carry out early action to meet their humanitarian needs" , UN spokeswoman Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday.
He said that the UN and the aid groups only helped one-third of the six million people estimated to need last year due to lack of funding. A UN appeal for $ 111m in 2018 was one of four funded, Dujarric said.
The UN estimates total 10.3 million people – almost half of the population – are in need and some 41 percent of North Koreans lack nutrition, said Dujarric
Along with extreme weather, the North Korean memo UN also penalizes sanctions for the delivery of agricultural materials and fuel supply suppression for the agricultural sector.
US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun said that earlier this month in Washington is displaying humanitarian assistance rules in North Korea and working to clear a supply of approvals UN.
Benjamin Silberstein, overseer of the North Korean Economy Watch and associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said the harvest was bad but no sign of an emergency.
"Of course, this is at least partially about penalties," says Silberstein. "Just look at the way the letter was written that they want to make it sound like hunger-hunger charges so the US should be kind and give them," he said.
Humanitarian aid nearly ceased in 2018 as the US enforced the implementation of UN sanctions, although the UNSC's North Korean sanctions committee said "sanctions are not intended to have a negative impact on the population of civilians ".
"While the sanctions on the Security Council are clearly not permitted humanitarian activities, there are unintentional consequences for humanitarian operations," Dujarric says.
Margareta Wahlstrom, president of the Swedish Red Cross, told Reuters after a trip to North Korea in November that, until the areas where they were operating were concerned, corn was only 65 percent of what should be normal due to the combination of a flu outbreak, a heat wave and a thunderstorm.
Russia considers sending 50,000 tonnes of wheat to help nitarian aid in North Korea to help cope with these disasters, the Interfax agency said senior Russian legislator Konstantin Kosachev said last time week.
Kim Young-hee, a North Korean defector and a North Korean economist in Korea The Development Bank in Seoul, did not think the memo was asking for food.
"The memo seems a message saying & # 39; although UN sanctions do not directly affect people's lives, it affects the entire economy and the livelihoods of the people are worsening. would not it be good if the penalties were reduced? '"He said.