02/22/2019, 13.22
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Pyongyang informed the UN that it is facing a 1.4 million tonnes food shortfall

In January daily rations were cut from 550 to 300 grams per person per day. In 2018, food production was 4.95 million tonnes, 503,000 less than in 2017. North Korea blames UN sanctions for negatively impacting its agricultural sector. A second Trump-Kim summit is set for five days from now, centred on economics and denuclearisation.

New York (AsiaNews/Agencies) – North Korea has warned that it is facing a food shortfall of 1.4 million tonnes in 2019 and has been forced to almost halve rations, blaming high temperatures, drought, floods and United Nations sanctions.

The North Korean mission to the United Nations released a memo to the world body ahead of a second summit next week between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi (Vietnam) on 27-28 February following the historic Singapore agreement eight months ago.

According to observers, the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and North Korea’s economic development will be at the centre of the talks between the two leaders.

The UN Security Council unanimously imposed sanctions on North Korea in 2006 in a bid to choke off funding for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

North Korea blames sanctions for restricting the delivery of farming materials and hindering fuel supply for the agricultural sector.

"The DPRK government calls on international organizations to urgently respond to addressing the food situation," read the North Korean memo.

It goes on to say that local food production last year was 4.951 million tonnes, 503,000 tonnes less than in 2017. The United Nations confirmed these figures as official government data provided at the end of January. The month before, North Korea admitted shortages in agricultural production.

North Korean authorities said it would import 200,000 tonnes of food and produce about 400,000 tonnes of early crops, but that it would still be left with a gap and that from January it would cut daily rations from 550 grams to 300 grams per person.

UN officials and aid groups in North Korea are consulting with the government to "further understand the impact of the food security situation on the most vulnerable people in order to take early action to address their humanitarian needs," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday.

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