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N.K. people starve to death in local areas even during potato harvest season

N.K. people starve to death in local areas even during potato harvest season

Posted July. 11, 2017 08:32,   

Updated July. 11, 2017 08:33


North Korea held a large-scale general festival of music and dancing to commemorate the successful test launch of the ICBM-class Hwasong 14 missile in Pyongyang on Sunday. With North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seated in a red couch at the center of the performance hall, all of the North’s leadership and  developers of the missile took part in the event en masse. The event featured Moranbong Music Band and Chongbong Music Band that performed "March of the Republic’s Rocket," and "Toast of Victory," and "Envy Us" in succession to help elevate the mood.


According to the North’s Korean Central News Agency, amid a welcoming music streaming, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un emerged and received a flower bouquet from a female musician, before replying to the cheering performers and audiences. Top echelon of the North’s leadership, including Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, and Hwang Pyong So, chief of the North Korean military’s general politburo, also participated in the event.


Radio Free Asia, the U.S. news media outlet dedicated to North Korea affairs on Sunday, reported that a growing number of people are starving to death amid aggravating food shortages. “These days are the harvest season for new crops of potatoes, but there are people who are starving to death due to lack of food,” a source in the North was quoted as saying. “People living in rural areas or mountainous regions can more often starve to death due to restrictions in moving and trade.”


Meanwhile, the South Korean Unification Ministry said on Monday that it will establish a council for (inter-Korean) cooperation and exchange between local and provincial governments (tentative name) in its report on pending issues to the parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee.

In-Chan Hwang hic@donga.com