North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is calling for “urgent action” on climate change in a bid to tackle “abnormal” weather that he blames for the nation’s crippling food shortage.
Kim ordered his officials to clamp down on climate change during a Politburo meeting last Thursday, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea has been plagued by severe floods 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 seasonal heavy rains and flooding.
Kim said the “danger” of climate change had increased in recent years and “disastrous weather” was only getting worse.
“Our country is also lying vulnerable to its danger,” Kim said.
He ordered officials in his regime to enact an “ambitious plan” that calls for river improvement, reforestation for erosion control, dyke maintenance and tide embankment projects.
Kim also called for North Korea’s flood management infrastructure.
Heavy rains last month in northeastern North Korea destroyed or flooded 1,170 houses and forced 5,000 residents to evacuate to safety, according to the nation’s state TV.
The downpour in South Hamgyong Province inundated or washed away hundreds of acres of farmlands and destroyed many bridges.
Footage showed houses submerged up to their red-brick roofs, a severed bridge over muddy water and a swollen river.
Amid the ongoing food and climate crisis, North Korea’s economy has been battered by international sanctions and self-imposed COVID-19 border lockdowns.
Elsewhere in last week’s Politburo meeting, Kim turned down international offers of COVID-19 vaccines and instead insisted he would fight the pandemic in “our style.”
“The present dangerous situation of the worldwide pandemic which keeps spiraling out of control demands tighter nationwide epidemic prevention,” Kim said.
“Tightening epidemic prevention is the task of paramount importance which must not be loosened even a moment under the present situation.”
Kim has reportedly turned down offers of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine and doses of AstraZeneca’s jab.
With Post wires