North Korea tells citizens to eat more swans

The food shortages that have gripped North Korea for years may be underlined by a new public awareness campaign there:

They're telling citizens to eat swans.

Black swans, specifically.

The North's state-run media has recently started promoting black swan meat as a valuable food source.

One party newspaper said, quote, "black swan meat is delicious and has medicinal value," and that new industrial scale breeding of the birds will improve residents' lives.

Kim Hyung-seok is the president of the Korean Peninsula Peace and Prosperity Institute, a think-tank in South Korea:

"It's meaningful in terms of expanding the variety of food there."

"North Korea's food shortages have been ongoing since its founding. Then it became more critical, due to the sanctions from the international community and U.N. - and with the COVID outbreak the situation has become more severe."

"North Korea is a country seeking self-sufficiency, but they can't be self sufficient. They need to trade with other countries at some level, but as long as they are limited the situation will only get worse."

Leader Kim Jong Un has publicly acknowledged his country is in a tense food situation and South Korean intelligence reportedly believes that Kim has issued orders calling for every grain of rice to be counted, and a huge push devoted to farming.

Although, they also believe the North may have a better harvest this year -- and that bringing trade with Russia and China back to pre-pandemic levels may also help.

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