Nearly half of North Koreans are going hungry due to food shortages, a damning UN report has warned. More than 70 per cent of citizens in the secretive nation rely on food aid while most lack even basic healthcare provision or sanitation, the report found.
The shocking report emerged as Kim Jong-Un outlined plans to ‘accelerate’ his nuclear and ballistic missile program amid heightened tensions with the South and the US.
The report suggests diarrhea and pneumonia are the top two causes of death among children under five. More than 10 million in are undernourished in the country of 25million people while the humanitarian situation has been worsened by ‘recurrent natural hazards’ including drought and floods, the report says.
Pyongyang is said to have restricted its rations of cereal and potatoes from 380g per person per day to 300g at one point in 2016. Government targets are said to be closer to 573g, according to the report.
Sweeping sanctions imposed in a bid to curtail the country’s nuclear ambitions are said to have affected attempts to improve the humanitarian picture.
A North Korean envoy recently told Reuters his country had nothing to fear from any U.S. move to broaden sanctions aimed at cutting it off from the global financial system and will pursue ‘acceleration’ of its nuclear and missile programs.