White objects that appear to be food bags are regularly intercepted at North Korean ports. North Korea, which is facing a food crisis, appears to be moving to import grain on a large scale, but North Korea imported about 80 million sacks from China last month, raising the possibility that it is linked to the issue this. Reporter Ham Ji-ha reports. (Video editing: Lee Sang-do)
This is a satellite image from ‘Planet Labs’, taken on the 17th at Songnim Port along the Taedong River in North Korea.
A large ship is seen loaded with white objects.
The next day, the area of this white object decreases, and on the contrary, it is confirmed that a new white object is piled up in the yard in front of the ship. This is a situation where the ship has loaded and unloaded a white object. Scenes like this can be seen in other nearby ports as well.
On the 6th, 12th, 17th, and 19th satellite photos taken from a port in Nampo, where large cargo ships usually come and go, six ships carrying white objects appear. There is also a white object lying on the dock right in front of these ships.
VOA previously reported that large amounts of white objects were delivered to Nampo coal port, a general port, and Songrim Port in August and September.
In particular, it was confirmed through high definition satellite images that the white object was a pile of sacks, and it was interpreted as an unusual phenomenon as a large number of sacks had flowed in for over a month.
The items that North Korea could transport in sacks during this period were mainly grains such as rice and flour. As a result, it is worth noting how many months North Korea will be bringing in food due to the food crisis that has been unfolding since this summer.
International organizations have analyzed that the food situation in North Korea will be bad due to the severe drought in spring that occurred between March and May this year and subsequent flood damage.
In the midst of this, North Korea was recently found to have imported tens of millions of sacks from China.
According to the detailed data on North Korea-China trade from China’s General Administration of Customs, North Korea bought 79,978,043, a total of 6,260 tons of ’empty bags for packaging’ from China in October. The purchase amount alone reached 6.43 million dollars, coming in second after rice, which was the most imported product in October.
The background to North Korea’s sudden purchase of batteries in large quantities has not yet been properly identified, but attention is focused on why tens of millions of batteries were needed.
Even before the new coronavirus, before the border barrier, North Korea usually imported bags worth 1 million dollars a month, but it has never spent more than 6 million dollars like this time. In fact, North Korea’s sack imports in September, the previous month, were $112,751, or about 1.22 million bags, less than 2% of October’s imports.
This is VOA News Hamjiha.