September 30, 2023

Interview: Why COVID-19 shut the door on Kim Jong Un’s Singapore vision

John Everard, former UK ambassador to North Korea, says Pyongyang faces ‘crisis of identity' not seen since 1990s

There are worrying similarities between North Korea’s Arduous March, a period in the mid to late nineties of widespread famine and death, and the situation in the country today.

The Arduous March occurred due to the breakdown of the state economy following the disintegration of the Soviet empire. North Korea’s monetary and material aid dried up. Food production was stymied while imports shrunk, exacerbated by a series of floods and droughts, destroyed harvests. At least hundreds of thousands died.