• The Financial District


A UN human rights expert warns that severe food shortages in North Korea have been exacerbated by measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Japan’s NHK World reported on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, and asked that sanctions imposed against Pyongyang should be eased.

North Korea closed its border with China, its largest trading partner, in January, and suspended rail and flight connections to stop the spread of the virus, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea, Tomas Ojea Quintana, said on Tuesday.

Quintana added that North Korean trade with China in March and April declined by over 90 percent following the border shutdown and this has led to many people in North Korea's border areas losing their income from commercial activities and the number of people suffering from food insecurity has risen from the more than 40% before the pandemic struck.

He revealed that an increasing number of families are now eating only corn, while soldiers suffer from food shortages. Moreover, reports of increasing homelessness and skyrocketing medicine prices are rife in the secretive nation.