Empty shelves and food shortages: Why things are looking grim in North Korea
Trade data suggests that the DPRK is suffering from a massive trade crash as it protects itself from COVID-19
North Korea is facing a blatant and serious food shortage right now, and it’s a self-inflicted problem.
In response to the pandemic, the DPRK enacted two border trade shutdowns, the first for four months in January and an ongoing one that began in August. These two periods have hit the economy hard, but it’s the second shutdown that really cut the country’s food supply, with shortages even reaching privileged Pyongyang.
Food imports have almost evaporated since Aug. 2020, according to customs data from China and Russia, the two countries that make up almost
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