North Korea says a plenary meeting of the ruling Workers' Party Central Committee has opened to mainly discuss agricultural policy. Some observers say the news suggests the food situation in the country is worsening.
State-run Korean Central Television says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended the key meeting that began on Sunday.
The broadcaster says participants will analyze and review the program for the "rural revolution in the new era." North Korea launched the program last year, saying it will completely solve the nation's food problems.
The broadcaster says the participants will also discuss and decide on immediate important tasks at the current stage of national economic development and practical ways to implement them.
The committee's previous plenary meeting took place at the end of last year. It's rare for North Korea to hold such meetings twice in two months.
South Korea's Unification Ministry says people have starved to death in some parts of North Korea.
The South's Yonhap News Agency says observers believe the rare move by North Korea indicates the urgent need to deal with the country's food crisis.