North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has urged citizens to prepare for a “difficult” crisis, following human rights groups’ warnings that the country faces dire food shortages and economic instability.
Speaking at a party conference, Kim appeared to compare the situation to an infamous deadly famine in the 1990s.
North Korea has shut its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has brought trade with China, its economic lifeline, to a standstill.
This is also on top of existing international economic sanctions over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.