North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has opened a key party meeting to discuss agricultural development, state media said Monday, following a report of "grave" food shortages in the isolated country.

Normally such meetings are convened only once or twice a year, but the plenary comes just two months after a previous one, which also focused on agricultural issues.

The unusual frequency of the meetings focused on agriculture has fueled speculation that there may be serious food shortages in North Korea now.