Easing UN sanctions affecting food aid essential for solving peninsular issue
The easing of UN sanctions on North Korea that indirectly obstruct food assistance to the country is a must as it could have a positive influence on resolving the Korean Peninsula issue, an expert said on Friday.
The remarks came after a report on Thursday’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) – the State-run news agency of North Korea – which admitted “drawbacks” in its agricultural sector.
Pak Pong-ju, North Korea’s premier, said at a national meeting that “they failed to conduct seed production and management in a responsible way and also fell short of doing proper strain distribution in line with climatic conditions and characteristics of fields and thus could not display to the full the advantage of the field-responsibility system within the framework of the sub-workteam management system” when referring to the drawbacks, read the report.
“There is a food shortage problem in North Korea. It’s good for North Korea to see the drawbacks [of its agricultural management system] and then they will make positive changes,” Lü Chao, a research fellow at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.
“But it’s not an easy thing for North Korea to solve its food shortage given its current agricultural conditions. So it’s necessary for the UN to relax its sanctions that could affect international food assistance to the country,” he said.
He stressed to the Global Times that sanctions should not be premised on “creating a humanitarian crisis,” and food “holds significance to people’s livelihood.”
The 2017 report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World released by the UN revealed that 10.3 million people in North Korea were undernourished.
“This year, the food shortage in North Korea isn’t that serious, so it won’t have an impact on the peninsular issue. But if the food crisis aggravates, it will deteriorate the process of solving the peninsular issue,” Lü warned.