North Korea sends corn farmers to labour camps because of low yields, and the country’s food shortage continues. As a result, field workers are STRIP SEARCHED for grain.

  • After the closing of the border to imports from foreign countries, North Korea is now facing a food crisis
  • 60% of farmers’ crop is given to the government
  • During crisis, free labourers and farmers are being searched for hidden food. 

North Korean farmers were sent to labour camps after withholding corn intended for state supplies. Officials are strip-searching the farms for hidden food during a severe shortage.

After the Covid pandemic, which cut off Chinese imports of fertilizer, fuel, and machinery, the Communist country’s harvest yields will be around 20% lower than usual. 

The government orders farmers to give 60% of their crop to them, while keeping 40%, which is barely enough to sustain them.

North Korean farmers have been sent to labour camps for withholding corn meant for state supplies (file image)

North Korean farmers were sent into labour camps to withhold corn intended for state supply (file image).

The Communist country's harvest yields are expected to be around 20 per cent lower than usual this year

The harvest yields in the Communist country are expected be around 20% lower than normal this year

Many farmers are trying to hide their grain from inspectors amid the crisis.

In an effort to stop the crisis that authorities fear could lead to the death of millions, other citizens were ordered to perform free labor every morning.

A source told RFA: ‘A few days ago, five farmers were caught hiding corn during an unexpected inspection. Each of them were sentenced to five years in a disciplinary labor centre.

“Since every farm receives distribution based upon yield, the amount of distribution for farmers is inevitably to be reduced.”

Some North Koreans were drafted in to perform free labour in what is being called the “rice sheaf transport battle” by the government.

After working all morning in the fields, they are then subjected to a body scan before being allowed home.

Amid the looming crisis, many farmers have been trying to cheat the system and hide their grain from government inspectors

Many farmers are trying cheat the system to hide their grain and avoid inspections by the government amid the crisis.

Authorities are concerned that they may be taking rice grains from clothes intended for state redistribution.

RFA was told by a Songchon County resident that residents have been supporting the rice sheaf transportation battle at harvesting farms.

‘They must move rice sheaves from the paddies towards the thresher. This is hundreds of metres away.

“The central committee has directed that the harvest be completed on time so that no grain is lost. This non-paid farmwork will be done from early morning to just before noon. 

Due to the mass mobilization, family businesses now face a shortage in staff. People are being drafted to stop the food shortage. 

Every resident of North Pyongan’s Unsan County has been asked to help with grain transportation.

After they have finished the hard work, their clothes are checked by their bosses.  

Authorities have warned that shortages could continue until 2025 and ordered residents to start growing their own food

Authorities warned that food shortages could continue into 2025, and instructed residents to begin growing their own food.

While North Korea has struggled with food crises for decades now, the current shortage has been made worse by the decision of Covid to close down borders and suspend trade.

The food prices have increased dramatically since then. The UN recently predicted that there would be an 860,000-ton shortage of food in the country this year. That is equivalent to two weeks’ worth of food.

According to the UN World Food Programme, 40% of the world’s population is underfed.

Authorities warned that food insecurity could continue to 2025 and instructed residents to begin growing their own food.

They suggested that the situation could be worsened than the ‘ArduousMarch’, the 1994-1998 famine that killed millions.  

It is expected that farmers will only receive five to six month’s worth of food next fiscal year, while soldiers and other recipients receive their full normal share.

Many North Koreans have second jobs to supplement their low government salaries. Farmers, however, don’t have the time and are now poor and hungry.