03 March 1998
Analysts doubt on North Korean grain figures

ANALYSTS are sceptical about North Koreas claims that it will run out of grain stocks within two weeks.

The Norths official news agency estimated stocks stood at 167,000 tonnes at the beginning of the year to feed 22m people. Daily rations fell from 300g in January to 100g this month.

Analysts said the statement might be a means to test the response from South Korea.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimated than 1m tonnes of food aid would be needed this year because of a poor harvest and the Norths limited ability to buy food.

  • Financial Times 03/03/98 page 9

  • The Guardian 03/03/98 page 1