The Ministry of Unification (MOU) announced that this year North Korea experienced relatively good weather conditions with no damage from flooding etc. thus the current food situation is not serious.
MOU spokesperson Kim Ho Nyon stated in a press briefing today that, “despite difficulties, investigators are in the process of accurately evaluating the food situation now that the North Korean harvest has begun. This year there was fairly good weather and, based on this information, we can assume that currently in North Korea the food situation is not at crisis point,” he asserted.
“NGOs who recently visited North Korea have quoted North Korean officials as saying this year’s harvest was not bad. With no fertilizer aid this year, it was uncertain whether or not the North would face big difficulties,” remarked Kim.
“Rice and potatoes have grown well, however fertilizer was in short supply so corn, which requires huge quantities of fertilizer, did not do so well. Some people say according to the North Korean authorities that this year 4.8 million tones of food was produced, however there are others who disagree with this figure,” said Kim.
According to spokesman Kim, the South Korean government has taken into consideration the opinions of many international organizations, domestic organizations, and experts etc. in deciding its policy of food aid to North Korea.
“Five officials from the World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization visited the MOU today to give a briefing on the actual conditions in North Korea and the current state of their aid programs,” said Kim.
Additionally, with regards to NGOs sending balloons to North Korea to scatter flyers Kim said, “Recently two organizations were called on to discontinue scattering flyers. Today those two organizations were visited and again asked to cease scattering flyers as it is a matter which has been mutually agreed upon by the two Koreas, and has been a topic of discussion in recent military talks.