SEOUL, May 15 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean newspaper called Friday for increased food production, saying that achieving "food self-reliance" is an "important business" needed to prop up socialism and overcome challenges facing the country.
North Korean media outlets have recently ramped up calls for an increase in grain production as the full-blown rice planting season has started.
"Completely resolving the issue of feeding our people and tackling food problems is an important political business necessary to achieve our party's visions and intentions," the Minju Joson, the newspaper of the North's cabinet, said in an editorial.
"The reality shows that grain production is not just a practical matter of resolving food problems but a fierce class struggle of safeguarding socialism," the paper added.
The paper noted that "food self-reliance" would help the country's march toward its own style of socialism no matter how harsh its enemies' machinations might be.
The North has called for increased food production, saying self-reliance in its food supply is instrumental in ensuring its existence and dignity in the face of "murderous" global sanctions.
North Korea has claimed that it recorded a bumper harvest last year, but outside observers say the North has been suffering from a chronic food shortage due to extreme weather and restrictions in importing key farming materials, such as fertilizer.
Observers say that the food situation in the North might deteriorate this year, as its border closure due to the coronavirus pandemic would hinder food imports from China.
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