Sunday, July 23, 2006

North Korea May Face New Famine

Adherence to the Juche idea and a failure to develop any kind of market economy make North Korea susceptible to disasters that would not be disasters in a western country. Two major storms have caused flooding that has destroyed young rice crops in large areas of what little arable land North Korea has.

Floods may bring famine to North Korea

UPDATE: The above link does not seem to be reliable, here is a better one, Floods could push North Korea back into famine
Experts have warned that the North Korea people, who constantly battle food shortages, could be facing a famine after heavy flooding in key farming regions this month.

Two major storms over the past ten days have hit the impoverished country with some of the heaviest rainfalls in years just as it faces greater international isolation over missile tests this month and the prospect of less food aid from its major donor, South Korea.

"Conditions have never been that good in North Korea and this could push them over the edge again," said Peter Beck, an expert in Korean affairs for the International Crisis Group.

"This has increased the probability of a famine returning to North Korea," he said.

Up to 2.5 million North Koreans, or about 10 per cent of its population, died in the 1990s due to famines caused by droughts, flooding and mismanagement of the agriculture sector, the United Nations World Food Programme said studies have indicated.
You would think that Kim Jong Il would be interested in maintaining a good relationship with the countries that feed his failed country, but no,
He said Pyongyang's main benefactor China probably shipped North Korea far less food in the first quarter of this year than it did in the same period of last year.

South Korea has sent huge amounts of rice and fertiliser aid to North Korea over the past several years. But it has rejected the North's latest request for 500,000 tonnes for rice for this year, unless Pyongyang returns to stalled talks on ending its nuclear weapons programmes.

No comments: