SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - About six out of 10 North Koreans or 15.3 million people are estimated to suffer from undernutrition this year, as the country's already poor economy has been dealt a blow from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The finding was from the latest report on food and security worldwide put out by the US Agriculture Department's Economic Research Service.
Last year, 14.6 million North Koreans, or 57 per cent of the total, did not have enough food.
The food crisis in the country showed no immediate signs of abating, as 45 per cent of the population were forecast to remain undernourished in 2030, according to International Food Security Assessment 2020-30.
A country is considered food insecure when residents cannot consume 2,100 calories per day, as recommended by the United Nations for a healthy diet.
North Korea was one of three countries in Asia, along with Afghanistan and Yemen, with the highest rates of food insecurity.
It was also one of three countries - the others being Afghanistan and Somalia - where international hunger agencies could not obtain sufficient internal data to draw up an accurate map of the health of its residents, according to the UN.