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N Korea at crossroads

North Korea's triple economic woes stoke fears of 'silent' famine

COVID curbs and sanctions deepen Pyongyang's isolation from the world

No masks are in sight as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un embraces veterans on July 28. The photo, published by the Korean Central News Agency, appears to be a message that coronavirus is no longer a concern in Pyongyang. (KCNA via Kyodo)

SEOUL -- With corn and rice prices soaring, North Koreans are struggling to put food on the table, stoking fears of the country's worst famine in decades.

International sanctions, stalled trade with China and coronavirus cases within the country are squeezing the North Korean economy. While Pyongyang is expected to maintain a hard-line stance toward the West, it will likely seek assistance from Beijing and Moscow.

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