Kim Jong-un makes first appearance at military meeting – promises to improve nuclear arms

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State news outlet KCNA announced the “crucial measures” were taken at the meeting “for considerably increasing the firepower strike ability of the artillery pieces of the Korean People’s Army”. The news agency added: “Set forth at the meeting were new policies for further increasing the nuclear war deterrence of the country.” The Central Military Commission meeting centred on “putting the strategic armed forces on a high alert operation”.

Kim Jong un’s belligerent strategy was put in place for the “development of the armed forces of the country”.

The effort and resources funnelled into developing North Korea’s military take on a stark new meaning when considering the millions of malnourished citizens of the country.

Last month the head of the UN World Food Programme called for the White House and other western donors to put children’s lives before politics and fund a major injection of aid to North Korea.

Due to flooding and a heatwave last year, North Korea is facing a shortfall of 1.4m tonnes in food production this year.

The shortfall includes wheat, rice, potatoes, and soybean.

An estimated 11 million people, or 40 percent of the population, are already undernourished.

One in five children are stunted due to chronic malnutrition.

The World Food Programme’s executive director David Beasley told the Guardian: “This is a serious issue and children are going to be severely impacted if we do not do something by the time the lean season truly kicks in by June.

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“Russia has responded and is sending in 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat.

“China is doing something too.

“Western donors are still hoping that the breaking of the political impasse will take place so that everyone can come in together.”

North Korea has struggled to feed its people for more than two decades.

A famine in the 1990s left as many as one million dead.

This was about five percent of the population at the time.

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