Seoul: Food prices in North Korea have increase to higher than the pre-pandemic levels, suggesting supply shortages, a US website monitoring the country has said.
The report by 38 North released on Friday added to recent concerns of food shortages in the reclusive country, which has faced economic hardship from sanctions and self-imposed Covid-19 border restrictions, Yonhap News Agency reported on Saturday.
“The overall picture suggests that market prices, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the resulting border closure by the North Korean government, have moved to a consistently higher level, which indicates that the country’s overall food supply is lower,” the report read.
It found that prices for rice and corn in the country began to increase in October 2020 after it closed its borders in January that year to prevent the spread of Covid-19, citing price data gathered by Rimjingang, an online news outlet with sources inside North Korea.
“None of this is evidence of widespread famine in North Korea,” the report read.
“Nevertheless, the fact that the country is experiencing a significant food shortage seems beyond doubt.”