Note: This is an excerpt of the post published by OpenDoorsUSA.org.
A ‘more difficult Arduous March’
A new report by the United Nations indicates North Koreans could be facing the same situations Seojun described. The UN released a statement saying that 40 percent of the country’s population (25.8 million) is starving.
While North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has previously told North Koreans to “tighten their belts” and has spoken about the country’s economic difficulties, at the beginning of this month, speaking at a party conference, Kim used words he has not previously uttered publicly to describe the current situation facing North Koreans, including more than an estimated 400,000 underground Christians.
Speaking to his party officials, the 37-year-old leader called on them to “wage another, more difficult ‘Arduous March’ in order to relieve our people of the difficulty, even a little.” The Arduous March refers to the name the North Korean people gave the great famine of the 1990s in which 2-3 million people died—a crisis created when the fall of the Soviet Union left North Korea without vital aid.
Kim’s reference to the “more difficult ‘Arduous March,’” offers us a glimpse of the crisis North Koreans are currently facing due, in large part, to North Korea shutting its borders to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Colin Zwirko, North Korea analyst at NK News, told the BBC, “It is not unusual for Kim Jong-un to talk about difficulties and hardship but this time the language is quite stark and that’s different.”
Days before the conference, Kim remarked that the country faced the “worst-ever situation”
Author: Open Doors USA
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