Another bad harvest in North Korea

The Rural Development Administration of South Korea, via the Daily NK, reports that  this year’s cereal crop in North Korea  may be  2.5 million (metric?) tons short of the country’s needs, at just over 4 million tons. 

Although these figures are obviously of questionable reliability, when compared to prior-year harvests,  a 4M-ton cereal harvest  would be about mid-range between the harvest figures at the height of the Great Famine and the years since then.   In relative terms, however,  food deficit of 2.5M tons would be higher than North Korea itself reported  during the famine years of  the mid-1990’s. 

North Koreans have learned to put away anything they can for the winter, so if there will be famine, it’s most likely to happen in the spring.  If the situation is desperate enough, people will eat their seed grain and slaughter draft animals, which will affect harvests for years to come.