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Reports: North Korea Warns of New 'Arduous March'

  • VOA News

FILE - Rice plants grow from the cracked and dry earth in Ryongchon-ri, North Korea, in the country's Hwangju County.

FILE - Rice plants grow from the cracked and dry earth in Ryongchon-ri, North Korea, in the country's Hwangju County.

North Korea is warning its citizens to prepare for possible food shortages as a new round of international sanctions begin to take effect.

According to South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper, an editorial published Monday in the North's state-run Rodong Sinmun newspapers says North Koreans "may have to go on a long and arduous march, during which we will have to chew the roots of plants once again."

The term "arduous march" was used by the authoritarian regime to describe a famine that killed millions of people in the 1990s.

Chosun Ilbo says it has learned the regime has collected one kilogram of grain from every citizen in the capital of Pyongyang every month, while farmers are being forced to hand over extra food donations to the military.

North Korea needs 440,000 tons of food from overseas donations this year, but has received just 17,600 tons by February.

The United Nations recently imposed a new, tougher set of economic sanctions on North Korea over a nuclear test conducted in early January, followed by a long-range rocket launch in February.

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