Russia has called for the removal of draconian unilateral sanctions against North Korea amid the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country. Peter Ilyichev, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department of international organizations, told RIA Novosti.
The Russian diplomat said that because of quarantine restrictions, the last staff members of humanitarian organizations left North Korea, leaving only local staff in the offices. In this connection, not a single container of humanitarian aid has arrived in the country since August 2020.
Ilyichev emphasized that unilateral sanctions against North Korea have exacerbated the situation. “The cumulative effect of these measures does not achieve its goal but hits the people’s economy and the ordinary population. Special humanitarian exemptions are not working effectively,” the diplomat said. He added that droughts and floods in the DPRK are also greatly affecting the country’s plight.
Earlier, Kim Jong-un, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of the DPRK (TPK), announced that party organizations at all levels would embark on a severe “Hard Hike,” similar to the period of economic crisis and famine in North Korea in the 1990s. The North Korean leader said the move was aimed at alleviating the suffering of the people and providing material and cultural benefits to residents who, believing in the TPK as a mother party, had followed it for decades.
At the party congress earlier this year, the DPRK leader announced that the country’s five-year economic development plan had failed on almost all fronts. One of the reasons for this was sanctions by the United States and its allies, including South Korea. Kim also said that the country was going through “the hardest moment of all time.