London: A starving father in North Korea has been executed for murdering his two children for food, reports from the secretive state have claimed.
A 'hidden famine' in the farming provinces of North and South Hwanghae is believed to have killed up to 10,000 people and there are fears that incidents of cannibalism have risen in the country.
The grim story is just one that has come to light, as residents are battling against starvation after a drought hit farms and shortages were compounded by party officials who were confiscating food.
According to the Daily Mail, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has spent huge amount on two rocket launches, despite reports of food shortages in the country and concerns that 10,000 people have died in a famine.
Undercover reporters from Asia Press told the Sunday Times that one man dug up his grandchild's corpse and ate it, and another man boiled his own child for food.
An informant said a father killed his eldest daughter while his wife was away on business and then killed his son because he was the witness to the murder.
When his wife returned the man told her they had 'meat', but she became suspicious and contacted officials who discovered part of the children's bodies.
Undercover reporters said food was confiscated from the two provinces and given to the residents in Pyongyang.
The Sunday Times also quoted an official of the ruling Korean Worker's party as saying that 'in a village in Chongdan county, a man who went mad with hunger boiled his own child, ate his flesh and was arrested'.
United Nations officials visited the area during a state-sponsored trip, but local reporters said it is unlikely they were shown the famine-hit areas.
It is not the first time that reports of cannibalism have come to light in the country.
In May last year, the South Korean state-run Korean Institute for National Unification said that one man was executed after eating part of a colleague and then trying to sell the remains as mutton, the report added.