North Korean leader Kim Jong Un calls for “urgent action” on climate change in an effort to tackle the “abnormal” weather conditions he blames for the country’s crippling food shortage.
Kim ordered his officials to tackle climate change at a Politburo meeting last Thursday, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea has been plagued by severe flooding and an ongoing food crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, vital crops were damaged by typhoons. This year, crops were also damaged by droughts, followed by heavy seasonal rains and flooding.
Kim said the “danger” of climate change had increased in recent years and the “dire times” were only getting worse.
“Our country is also vulnerable to its danger,” Kim said.
He ordered his regime officials to enact an “ambitious plan” that calls for river improvement, reforestation to combat erosion, dyke maintenance and dike projects.
Kim also called for North Korea’s flood management infrastructure.
Heavy rains last month in northeastern North Korea destroyed or flooded 1,170 homes and forced 5,000 residents to evacuate to safety, according to national television.
The downpour in South Hamgyong Province inundated or washed away hundreds of hectares of farmland and destroyed many bridges.
Images showed houses submerged to their red brick roofs, a bridge cut over muddy water and a swollen river.
Amid the ongoing food and climate crisis, North Korea’s economy has been hit by international sanctions and self-imposed COVID-19 border lockdowns.
Elsewhere at last week’s Politburo meeting, Kim turned down international offers of COVID-19 vaccines and instead insisted he would fight the pandemic “our style.”
“The current dangerous situation of the global pandemic which continues to spiral out of control requires stricter national epidemic prevention,” Kim said.
“Tightening up the prevention of epidemics is a task of paramount importance which must not be relaxed even for a moment in the current situation. “
Kim has reportedly turned down offers of Chinese vaccine Sinovac Biotech and doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.
With post wires