A source inside North Korea is claiming that residents of the capital city of Pyongyang have been without food rations for the past three months. As a result, residents have reportedly been forced to rely on unofficial markets to not go hungry.
According to Daily NK, an insider said the last time that citizens inside the capital city received their food rations was back in March. Worse still, the food was comprised of corn rather than the more versatile and filling rice.
As a result, the source said that a number of households have started resorting to eating a single meal each day, with some only eating every two days. In addition, the insider said that many people in the city have begun visiting the mountainous countryside to forage for food.
The source added that communist officials blamed the food shortages on the "global economic stagnation caused by COVID-19" in addition to "schemes by imperialist powers to blockade North Korea."
"The situation is so dire that there is even talk of a 'second Arduous March' among Pyongyangites," the source said.
The Arduous March is a reference to a severe famine that plagued North Korea during the mid-1990s. The situation became so dire that the country requested food donations from the United Nations. Even with international aid, it is estimated that millions of North Koreans died from starvation and an entire generation grew up with defects due to malnutrition, according to History.com.
The insider claimed that the current food rations are even worse than those seen at the height of North Korea's earlier famine.
The situation has allegedly become so serious that the nation's Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un reportedly arranged a meeting with top North Korean officials to discuss ways to improve Pyongyang's economic situation.
Meanwhile, food markets -- which had previously been rare -- are now popping up despite the fact that most North Koreans have little disposable income, with a majority surviving on a salary of less than $5 USD per month, according to Radio Free Asia.
Food has unsurprisingly seen increases in price due to demand. The source said that most of the stores, known as "grasshopper markets," are supplied with rice rations that were given to the military.
However, even stores of rice might soon come to an end.
"Military rice has already been released for distribution twice this year," the source explained.
"But now the military is running short on rice as well, so military reserves can no longer be used to provide rations to Pyongyang residents," the insider concluded.
It is just one more problem facing Kim Jong Un, who is currently embroiled in increasing diplomatic tensions with the United States, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.