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Date : May 26, 2023
Workers can’t go to work due to malnutrition
   https://www.asiapress.org/rimjin-gang/2023/05/society-economy/famine2/ [308]
Workers can’t go to work due to malnutrition

The ongoing "barley hump" period in North Korea, marked by food shortages, is having a severe impact on provincial cities, including Musan County, which houses the country's largest iron mine. The Kim Jong-un regime's attempt to monopolize the food supply has restricted the sales of staple foods like rice and corn in markets, leaving people reliant on limited supplies from state-run "grain shops" and meager workplace rations. As a result, famine and malnutrition have become prevalent.

In Musan County, workers are facing malnutrition, with some unable to go to work. They received only six kilograms of corn in April, and promised food aid from China has not arrived. The situation remains dire, and even if aid does arrive, each worker is entitled to only around five kilograms of corn, which won't alleviate the crisis significantly. The authorities have allowed workers to take rest periods to find food or engage in temporary wage labor outside their assigned workplaces.

Urban dwellers, faced with difficult lives in the cities due to food shortages, are now coming to rural areas, including farming villages, to borrow or beg for food multiple times a day. There has been an increase in deaths, with people suffering from preexisting conditions and surviving on just one meal a day. The government, however, does not acknowledge starvation as the cause of death, attributing it to diseases. This has led to discontent among those who believe the government is concealing the truth.

While party organizations have ordered measures to help the poverty-stricken population, the lack of available food renders these measures ineffective. Some work unit leaders are resorting to borrowing money and food from wealthier households with the promise of repayment after food aid arrives from China. They are distributing these resources to households facing poverty.

The humanitarian crisis caused by the "barley hump" period and the government's monopolization of the food supply continues to worsen, leading to widespread malnutrition and even deaths in North Korea's provincial cities.

[Source: Asia Press]

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