North Korea looking down the barrel despite occasional military posturing and threats against the US and its allies. The food situation in the country is turning grim fast and the supply choke is even creeping into the million-strong military, which is technically at war with South Korea.
The North Korean military is facing sharp supply shortages in food, wartime fuel, combat suites and medicine, Radio Free Asia's Korean Service reported.
"All units typically lack fuel, food and medicine so they often secretly dip into their reserves," sources in the military told RFA.
Shortage of 860,000 tons of Food
This report comes a day after hermit communist dynast Kim Jong-un himself acknowledged the severity of the situation during a political meeting. The country's food supply is severely pressured and 'getting tense' Kim said, according to KCNA newswire.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), North Korea is short of about 860,000 tons of food.
CNN reported on Saturday that while food shortages are rampant, even non staple items have become rarer and pricier. While a small packet of black tea costs around $70, packet of coffee costs more than $100.
Investigation into Military Supplies
The RFA reported that a North Korean investigation into military combat reserve supplies unraveled the serious situation in the barracks where actual supplies of food, fuel and medicine are too bad.
As the country goes through a blight, Kim Jong-un is tasked with feeding and taking care of a mammoth army of 1.47 million personnel, which is the world's third largest army after China and India.
"In accordance with Central Military Commission order 0035 issued in early June, we are conducting an intensive inspection of the storage maintenance status of combat reserve supplies," RFA cited a member of the North Korean military as saying.
"The regular inspection in the first half of this year has revealed a lot of issues such as poor maintenance of wartime reserve supplies and insufficient quantity compared to written records. This is why the Party's Central Military Commission has issued a special inspection order," the source said citing a large-scale inspection carried out within the military.
"Because of the serious issues in the storage and maintenance of combat reserve supplies were reported to the Central Party, this special inspection was organized," the report said.
Separately, reports from the North Hamgyong province said the military personnel are worried over the dwindling supplies. "The main focus of this inspection is on supplies like wartime fuel, food, combat suites and medicine. All units typically lack fuel, food and medicine so they often secretly dip into their reserves," the report adds, citing sources.