© Reuters. File photo: The North Korean flag flies on a pole of the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva on October 2, 2014. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse
SEOUL (Reuters)-According to reports, from printing coupons as an alternative currency to raising ornamental black swans as food, as anti-blockade measures continue, North Korea is forced to innovate to cope with economic difficulties and food shortages.
With the harvest coming to an end, international observers said that North Korea’s food and economic situation is precarious, and there are signs that North Korea is increasing trade and receiving large amounts of humanitarian aid through China.
South Korean intelligence agencies said in a closed-door parliamentary hearing on Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has issued an order to ensure the safety of every grain of rice and make every effort to develop agriculture, according to lawmakers at the briefing.
Despite this, intelligence agencies estimate that due to the fine weather, this year’s harvest may be better than last year, and said that North Korea is taking measures to reopen the border with the United States. In China and Russia in the next few months, lawmakers told reporters.
North Korea has long suffered from food insecurity. Observers said that international sanctions on its nuclear weapons, natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic that has now triggered North Korea have exacerbated economic mismanagement and unprecedented border closures.
Kim Jong-un acknowledged that the food situation was “tensed” and apologized for the sacrifices citizens had to make to prevent the coronavirus outbreak.
But he also said that the economy has improved this year, and North Korea denies a report released this month by UN investigators that the country’s most vulnerable people may die of hunger.
North Korea officially reported no cases of the coronavirus. The United Nations agency said that North Korea recently began to allow the delivery of aid materials, and data released by China showed slow growth in trade.
According to several media citing unidentified sources from North Korea, due to the shortage of North Korean won banknotes, the central bank printed silver notes worth about $1.
Rimjin-gang, a Japanese website run by defectors, reported that these coupons have been in circulation since at least August, partly because the official currency paper and ink no longer come from China.
Seoul-based NK News stated that the government’s crackdown on the use of foreign currencies, especially the U.S. dollar and renminbi, may have also exacerbated the shortage of Korean won banknotes. He confirmed the news.
Reuters could not independently confirm the use of coupons.
This week, North Korean state media promoted black swan meat as a valuable source of food and stated that newly developed industrial-scale agriculture will help improve people’s lives.
“Black swan meat is delicious and has medicinal value,” the ruling party newspaper “Labor Sinmun” said on Monday.
According to NK News, research on raising ornamental birds as food began in early 2019. The authorities have required schools, factories and companies to grow food and raise fish and other animals to increase self-sufficiency.
“The solution aims to solve the problem of large-scale agriculture failing to provide adequate food supplies across the country, as well as recent government restrictions on COVID-19, which have largely prevented food and other products since the beginning of 2020 Imports,” Colin wrote. Zverko. , Senior analyst reporter of NK News.