Kim Jong-un inspects the damage as North Korea reels from floods and Typhoon Bavi
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has visited a rice-growing area devastated by a typhoon on Thursday, as the reclusive country reels from back-to-back natural and manmade catastrophes. Photos released by state media of the authoritarian leader inspecting fields alongside mask-wearing officials appeared to be framed to convey his benevolence as citizens struggle to cope with the impact of severe monsoon flooding, and the economic toll of the pandemic and ongoing global sanctions. Typhoon Bavi slammed into the country’s southwestern province of Hwanghae, dealing a damaging blow to its corn stalks, rice paddies and other crops, and raising fears of increased hunger among an already malnourished population. Ten million people are reported by the United Nations to be suffering from food insecurity, living from harvest to harvest. The country also suffers from years of neglected infrastructure, which exacerbates the effects of natural disasters.