Top Asian News 4:51 p.m. GMT
N. Korea food shortage worsens amid COVID, but no famine yet
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — There’s little doubt that North Korea’s chronic food shortages worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and speculation about the country’s food insecurity has flared as its top leaders prepare to discuss the “very important and urgent task” of formulating a correct agricultural policy. Unconfirmed reports say an unspecified number of North Koreans have been dying of hunger. But experts say there is no sign of mass deaths or famine. They say the upcoming ruling Workers’ Party meeting is likely intended to shore up support for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as he pushes ahead with his nuclear weapons program in defiance of intense U.S.-led pressure and sanctions.