World in View: Famine in North Korea

From the March-April 2011 issue of News & Letters:

World in View: Famine in North Korea

by Gerry Emmett

North Korea is approaching another famine with reports of 50% to 80% of the barley and wheat harvest wiped out by cold weather. Malnutrition has increased.

Part of the problem is the cut-off of food aid by South Korea and the U.S. over the recent military escalation. This hasn’t cut supplies to the military, which always has priority in North Korea, but has brutally affected the civilian population.

The U.S. claims it wants to keep aid from going to the military, but the cut off has led to reports of people reduced to eating dirt. It is yet another excuse for military posturing by Kim Jong-Il. As with the threat of nuclear war on the peninsula, the U.S. government has no answer for the sufferings of North Koreans.

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