North Korea Promotes Black Swan Meat Amid Food Shortages, Report Says

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black swans - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.10.2021
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Back in June, the country’s leader Kim Jong-un acknowledged that Pyongyang was facing food shortages, which he blamed on typhoons that had caused flooding. Experts say the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to the problem, as the DPRK’s trade with its key ally China has plummeted since it sealed its borders last year.
North Korea has started promoting black swan meat as the population struggles with food shortages. According to a report from the state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun, a swan enclosure has been built at the Kwangpho Duck Farm. The enclosure has several blocks of sheds, including a block for young birds, sanitary inspection rooms, as well as “other conditions necessary for breeding”.

The newspaper has touted black swan meat, saying it has "good" taste and "medicinal value", and stressed that the construction of the enclosure and swan breeding will "contribute to the improvement of the people's livelihood" and "living standards".

South Hamgyong Province chief party secretary Ri Jong Nam attended the opening ceremony, Rodong Sinmun wrote.

According to NK News, Pyongyang began breeding black swans for consumption, which is considered taboo in many countries, back in 2020. Back then, local media reported, citing a researcher from North Korea’s Agriculture Ministry, that black swan meat contains more protein and is easier to digest than other meats.

The news comes amid reports of food shortages in North Korea. The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, called the situation tense, as he announced back in June that the agricultural sector had “failed” to meet the grain production target, which Mr Kim blamed on typhoons.

Last month, he urged members of the governing party to deal with the issue of food shortages, telling the government to increase meat production and improve stockbreeding methods. The situation is exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which has weakened trade with Pyongyang’s key ally China due to the closure of the borders.
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