Pyongyang Tests Missile While Nation Faces Hunger
After the test, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un had called for measures to improve a tense food situation.
North Korea has fired a ballistic missile toward the sea off its east coast on Wednesday, South Korea’s military said, about a week after the North vowed to develop its nuclear forces “at the fastest possible speed.”
The launch, which marks the North’s 14th major weapons test this year, comes days before South Korea’s newly elected President Yoon Suk-yeol takes office on May 10.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Wednesday tension is rising in East Asia, as shown by a North Korean missile launch earlier in the day.
North Korea threatened by prolonged food shortages
On the return from the missile tests site, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un had called for measures to improve a tense food situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic and typhoons, despite slight improvements early last year.
North Korea’s office workers and factory labourers have been dispatched to farming areas around the country to join a fight against drought, state media reported on Wednesday, amid concerns over prolonged food shortages.
Drought and floods have long posed a seasonal threat to North Korea, which lacks irrigation systems and other infrastructure, and any serious natural hazards could cripple its reclusive economy already reeling from international sanctions and a near halt of trade.
In Anju and Kaechon, north of the capital Pyongyang, people created ponds, added fertiliser and growth enhancer to crops, and sent tractors, trucks and cultivators to carry water to farms, Rodong said.
Another dispatch said young labour units, which are called dolgyeokdae or youth brigades and usually mobilised in major infrastructure projects, have recently built waterways in the eastern port city of Hamhung as part of efforts to modernise and expand irrigational facilities.