Kim Jong-Un Demands ‘Urgent Action’ On Climate Change
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has encouraged his officials to assist with ‘urgent action’ on climate change following typhoons and heavy monsoon rains.
Kim’s comments come after crops in the country were badly impacted by the weather over the last year, with droughts followed by the influx of rainwater causing damage to the food supplies.
Speaking earlier this week at a meeting of the ruling party’s Politburo, the principal policymaking committee, Kim stressed that protecting against the effects of climate change was ‘more important than anything else’ and that measures were needed to overcome ‘abnormal climate’.
According to state media reports cited by UPI, Kim said: ‘Disastrous weather is getting ever more pronounced worldwide and our country is also lying vulnerable to its danger.’
The North Korean leader told his officials that the ‘danger’ of climate change had increased in recent years and encouraged them to take ‘urgent action’.
Officials were tasked with tackling drought and floods in the country by implementing crisis control measures such as ‘river improvement, afforestation for erosion control, dike maintenance and tide embankment projects’, as well as with ‘attain[ing] without fail’ the planned grain production goal for the year.
In June, Kim acknowledged North Korea was facing food shortages as he said ‘the people’s food situation is not getting tense’, noting at the time the agricultural sector had failed to meet its grain targets.
As well as being damaged by weather events, the amount of food available in the country has been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, which prompted North Korea to close its borders.
As a result, it saw a drop in its trade with China, which the country relies on for food, fertiliser and fuel, BBC News reports.
At the meeting this week, Kim said officials must ‘bear in mind that tightening epidemic prevention is the task of paramount importance which must not be loosened even a moment under the present situation.’
The official Korean Central News Agency, cited by The Guardian, said Kim also called for ‘fully providing material and technical means necessary for strengthening epidemic prevention, enhancing the professional qualifications and roles of the officials in the field of epidemic prevention and further rounding off our style epidemic prevention system.’
Earlier this week, the United Nations announced that North Korea had rejected an offer of almost three million coronavirus vaccines.
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