Natural disasters spawn food crisis in North Korea

February 22, 2011SEOUL – North Korea recently took the unusual step of begging for food handouts from the foreign governments it usually threatens, South Korea. Plagued by floods, an outbreak of a livestock disease and a brutal winter, the government ordered its embassies and diplomatic offices around the world to seek help. The request has put the United States and other Western countries in the uncomfortable position of having to decide whether to ignore the pleas of a starving country or pump food into a corrupt distribution system that often gives food to those who need it least. The United States, which suspended its food aid to North Korea two years ago amid concerns about transparency, “has no plans for any contributions at this time,” said Kurt Campbell, the State Department’s top East Asia official. Meanwhile, the U.N. World Food Program, responsible for much of the food aid in North Korea, said its current food supply could sustain operations in the communist country for only another month. “We’re certainly hopeful that new donations will be coming in the upcoming weeks,” said Marcus Prior, the WFP’s spokesman in Asia. –Washington Post
See: Food Crisis
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2 Responses to Natural disasters spawn food crisis in North Korea

  1. Jamie says:

    What I detest MOST about these situations is that those who are the GREATEST offenders of inhumaneness and supplanters of justice are those who claim CONTROL of our world, so, therefore, are the instigators of these situations.

    “The United States, which suspended its food aid to North Korea two years ago amid concerns about transparency, “has no plans for any contributions at this time,”……….
    The proverbial “pot calling the kettle black”. Transparent??? Our Elected “Officials”?? ANY elected “officials”??
    I think not.

    It is times just like these that I can hear what Buddha, Krishnamurti, King or Jesus would say ………” Do unto others as you WOULD HAVE them do unto you”.
    Case closed.

    Like

  2. Jennefer says:

    Jamie- Are you kidding? The world came through with massive food aid when North Korea had a famine in the early 1990s. It’s not that the donor nations have grown hardhearted in the face of this current suffering. The problem is that the donors want to confirm that the food aid is going to the people who need it most.
    There’s a well-founded suspicion that the food is being diverted to the military and favored party members and that some of it is being sold on the black market at huge profits. There’s also a strong suspicion that the North Koreans plan to hoard the food until 2012, the better to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the nation’s founder, Kim Il-sung, and the 70th birthday of his son, the current ruler, Kim Jong-il.

    The obvious solution would be independent international observers to monitor the food distribution. But North Korea has blocked most monitors and greatly restricting the rest by, for example, refusing to allow them to travel and refusing to accept monitors who speak Korean. Like the article stated- the U.S., once North Korea’s largest food donor, suspended its food aid two years ago and has no plans to resume it. U.S. officials still don’t know what happened to 22,700 tons of food, the last installment of that aid. Unsuccessful with the international organizations, North Korea has ordered its diplomats and 40 embassies to go directly to foreign governments to beg for aid. Usually North Korea can count on China for help but China has its own food problems. As the old saying goes, the North Koreans have no one to blame but themselves.
    (Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.scrippsnews.com)

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