SEOUL, June 9 (UPI) -- North Korea has declared a war on weeds.
Pyongyang's campaign against unwanted plants in rice paddies was made public in the Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Thursday.
"We will devote all our wisdom and energies to solving the food problem under the guidance of the [Workers' Party of Korea], and finish the rice production as required by the Juche [self-reliant] method of farming and attain the goals of grain production for this year under any circumstances," the newspaper stated, according to Yonhap.
North Korea urged people to launch a serious effort to eliminate weeds growing in rice fields across the country. The movement would have an impact on rice production, Pyongyang stated.
Once rice is planted, weeding typically takes place throughout the summer until harvest time.
North Korea ended its spring rice-planting season after the conclusion of the Seventh Party Congress in May. Pyongyang called the planting a success, and stated farmers and "volunteers" are showing strong resolve in reaching crop production goals.
North Korean agriculture, however, faces a number of problems.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, North Korea's food shortage stems from long-running issues in the country's agriculture, which include insufficient arable land, soil degradation due to intensive cultivation and scarcity of quality seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.
The state also has been allocating its financial resources to its weapons program when the funds could have been used to guarantee food.
About 18 million people in the country are considered food insecure, according to the FAO.