North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has warned that his nation is struggling to maintain food supplies as reports claim prices of everyday goods are skyrocketing.
In the last few weeks experts have warned that food was running short in North Korea and now the despot has finally admitted the situation was “now getting tense”.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency reports that he spoke about the shortages at a party meeting on Tuesday saying it was down to grain shortages brought about by typhoons last year.
The Seoul, South Korea-based outlet NK News reported that a kilogram of bananas in Pyongyang, the nation’s capital, now cost £32.
This equates to around seven bananas meaning they cost £4.57 each.
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Last month Radio Free Asia reported that some North Korean farmers were asked to contribute 2 litres of their urine each day to help produce fertiliser.
It is rare for Kim to acknowledge any issues in North Korea.
He has continuously insisted there have been no reported cases of coronavirus so he has raised eyebrows by admitting North Korea is facing food shortages.
Kim, who is speculated to be 37, has lost a great deal of weight over the last year sparking speculation over his ‘significant’ weight loss.
But experts don’t believe the food shortages will lead to a country-wide famine, The Washington Post reported.
Earlier this month, the UN Security Council were advised by Tomás Ojea Quintana to consider lifting sanctions on the country due to the food shortages.
Tomás, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, said the pandemic had caused North Korea “drastic economic hardship” and that the country’s trade with China fell 90% in March and April.
The Korea Development Institute, a Seoul-based government-run think tank, said the nation is expected to be 1.35 million tons short of food this year.
North Korea needs around 5.75 million tons of food every year to feed its nation, the think tank said.
The agency said the shortages are caused by summer typhoons and flooding, as well as a shortage of farming equipment and the pandemic, which forced North Korea to close its land borders.
But despite warning of food shortages Kim said North Korea’s economy had “shown improvement as a whole.
Similar natural disasters, along with government incompetence, is claimed to have played a huge role in the devastating famine of the 1990s.
It killed an estimated hundreds of thousands of North Koreans.