kim jong un pigs
A unit of North Korea's People's Army has reportedly been hard at work building the farm. Pictured: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited a pig factory of the 549th unit of the Korean People's Army at an undisclosed location in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang June 3, 2013. Reuters / KCNA

In an effort to combat a military food shortage, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un ordered a pig farm to be constructed, reported UPI Friday. Under the decree of Kim, a unit of North Korea's People's Army has been hard at work building the farm.

UPI cited a report from Radio Free Asia, which quoted a source in North Korea's Jagang province as saying, "Kim Jong Un instructed every brigade of a Korean People's Army unit to build a pig farm, in order solve a meat shortage for People's Army soldiers."

In the summertime, Kim had ordered the Korean People's Army Unit 810, a key division of North Korea's military highly regarded by the leader, to find a solution to a shortage of food in the Army, the source said. Kim recently visited with another Unit, 350, and told the soldiers to build a pig farm. One person was reportedly chosen to take part in the construction from each brigade of the unit.

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North Korea has long struggled with food shortages, but 2015 has been especially difficult. United Nations officials who visited the country's main growing region in June found that harvests were at risk of being cut by 50 percent. “We don’t have enough information to say if people are starving or not,” said Liliana Balbi, a senior UN Food and Agriculture Organization official to the Guardian. “But the situation is serious. They are on the borderline.”

After State media acknowledged a crippling drought in North Korea in June, an August flood worsened the issue but washed away much of the harvest. Voice of America, the United States government's external media arm, reported earlier this month that North Korea "cut its food rations to an average of 250 grams a day, a 21 percent decline from a three-year average." Next year could bring continued issues, as the isolated country is expected to produce about 4.2 million tons of food, when it needs about 5.4 million tons.

Kim's order to build the pig farm has not yet been made public and how close it is to completion was not immediately clear.