Recently Kim Jong-un visited a fish farm along with his wife Ri Sol-ju. He was seen wearing casual dress while the First Lady carried his jacket over her arm. However, those who were accompanying him had to put up with the heatwave as North Korea records temperatures of nearly 100F. This, coupled with lack of rainfall has threatened crop production and has made the country susceptible to drought and famine.

BBC reports that the hermit kingdom has to sort out its food problems because climate change is affecting its crops. It will have to consider diversifying its range of food products to boost its “food-deficient economy.” The recent visits of Kim Jong-un to fish factories is an indication that he wants to concentrate on increasing the output of fish.

North Korea must look for alternatives

The two trips to fishing concerns by the North Korean leader is significant. It indicators that the administration is seized by the problem and admits that the ongoing heatwave is a serious matter. It has not spared Europe and is now a problem for North Korea. As the BBC report says, the country is facing drought conditions which could affect the agricultural outputs, and consequent the availability of food. Hence, there is a need to explore alternatives like fish and mushrooms.

Kim Jong-un wants the Samchon catfish farm to repeat last year’s performance when it increased the output ten times. This is an indicator that the leader is aware of the urgency to improve the food supply chain. North Korea has faced drought earlier as well and has to evolve some long-term solutions.

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Food security for North Korea

According to Sky News, the heatwave in North Korea has destroyed crops like rice, and maize and there are fears of a major crisis looming ahead regarding food security. There has been no rainfall since July and temperatures are more than 100F. The majority of the population has to struggle for food and many children below the age of five suffer from malnutrition.

The country faced a famine in the 1990s during which the death toll was nearly three million.

Right now, North Korea is feeling the pinch of sanctions due to its nuclear programs and the heatwave due to climate change. Kim Jong-un will have to think outside of the box to neutralize the threats of famine. The national Red Cross is trying to extend support to the most vulnerable sections of the population and has arranged to provide water pumps for irrigation in the worst-hit regions.