December 06, 2022
Columns

How North Korea tried and failed to boost consumption of the other white meat

The regime heralded a future of ‘silk clothes’ and ‘meat soup’ through mass pig farms, a vision that never came to pass

North Korea has never been a nation of meat eaters, even considering an increase in consumption under Kim Jong Un, but that does not mean the country’s people do not like meat. On the contrary, meat has always been a desirable and prestigious delicacy in the DPRK, as it is throughout East Asia.

The problem has always been that high population density has required the use of nearly all available flat land for rice paddy fields, since an acre of agricultural land produces roughly ten times the calories of an acre of pasture.