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North Korea: Humanitarian Situation

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL14640, tabled on 25 March 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the humanitarian situation in North Korea.

Answered on

12 April 2021

The UK is concerned that humanitarian needs may be growing in North Korea. According to UN figures, 40% of North Korea's population were food insecure in 2019. We assess that North Korea's own restrictions at the border have prevented aid shipments from entering the country since January 2020, and that natural disasters last year may have reduced harvest yields. Restrictions on internal movement, including for UN agencies and NGOs, have also severely impacted the distribution of aid and support, and resulted in the departure of most of the international community. Without an international presence able to access affected areas, it is not possible to arrive at a full assessment. We encourage North Korea to allow entry for humanitarian workers to carry out an independent assessment of humanitarian needs, and to allow aid to flow freely into the country. We fully support the delivery of humanitarian support to the most vulnerable in North Korean society and continue to urge North Korea to concentrate on improving the lives of its most vulnerable people rather than developing its illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.