If an absolute ruler speaks in plain text, then problems can not be swept under the carpet. North Korea, standing in front of two challenges, said leader Kim Jong-un at a Meeting of the Politburo of the workers ' party on Thursday (13.08.2020): "Anti-epidemic work" against Covid-19, as well as "sudden unexpected natural disasters". The head of state called on the administration "to overcome these two crises at the same time".
What Kim said, the high damage of the double crisis, the strain of the ailing economy on the impact of the UN sanctions and beyond. The border to China, North Korea already has since the end of January. Security forces under the smuggling over the border river Yalu, press Covid-can not penetrate 19 in the country. Officially there has been no infection. But the state's health system could not maintain a spread state. There are beds, equipment and medicines are lacking.Abgeschnürter foreign trade
Under the foreclosure of the supply of the population suffers as many Goods come on the North Korean private markets from China and many women are earning with this trade money. The imports from China in the first half of the year declined, according to an estimate by the Korea Institute for unification, in Seoul, by two-thirds to $ 380 million. At the same time, the exports to China, which account for 90 percent of foreign trade by 75 percent to only $ 27 million.
At the same time, the Flooding of provinces in the South and West, where mainly rice growing weaknesses in the government distribution system for food rations. The heaviest monsoon rains for decades, which lasted for 50 days, also, extremely long, submerged nearly 40,000 hectares of cultivated fields. "If the rice is under water, a fall in income," warned the party's newspaper, Rodong. The water must flow to reach the harvest goals for the year. Due to deforestation and poor irrigation heavy rains act in North Korea are especially destructive.
The water masses flooded or destroyed almost 17,000 apartments and houses, as well as 630 public buildings. Many roads, bridges and Railways were the tracks damaged, reported the state news Agency KCNA. For two weeks the soldiers are in the use, to repair roads and dams. In this way, the leadership in Pyongyang wants to save a day for their services in October. "We can be the people in the flooded regions of the 75. Anniversary of our party not as a homeless celebrate", to drive the head of state, the soldiers.No acceptance of foreign aid
The International Red cross, North Korea has a helpful goods for 3,000 special-affected households in two provinces on the border of the South offered. According to the aid Agency, 22 people have died, four are still missing. The United Nations has sent a list of possible supplies to Pyongyang. The European Union said it will help, if North Korea desires this.
Foreign observers to explain the rejection of the help that the government wanted to show leadership in relation to their population, as well as abroad, not weakness. In the case of past natural disasters made South Korea large humanitarian aid. But North Korea had attacked South Korea, and President Moon Jae-in several times a rhetorically sharp, because the neighboring country is in breach of the UN sanctions against North Korea. From the point of view of the North Korean leadership, an approach to the South from a Position of neediness would be the wrong Signal.staff exchange as a gesture of Power
Instead, Kim wants to show, apparently, that he can steer the fortunes of his country. Anyway, you could interpret his step for the business competent Minister to be replaced in this way. After only 15 months in office, Kim Jae-ryong had to go, in its place, the economic expert and former head of the budget Committee Kim Tok-hun, the moved up at the same time, to the Politburo.
"Given the serious challenge for the North Korean economy, someone had to take political responsibility," said Choi Kang, Vice-President of the "Asan Institute for Policy Studies" in Seoul to the financial service Bloomberg. The exchange to the Cabinet top look after a precautionary measure, the complaints of the North Korean population.
author: Martin Fritz (Tokyo)
*The post "North Korea rejects foreign aid" is published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.Deutsche Welle Updated Date: 17 August 2020, 04:26