The BBC reports that North Korea is unable to feed its people:
The World Food Programme (WFP) has repeated its warning of a food crisis in North Korea and says the situation is getting worse by the day.Unbelievable. Even as Kim Jong-Il threatens America by building nuclear bombs and ICBM delivery systems, he turns to America for help. And America, being the nation that it is, is actually considering helping.
The WFP regional director, Anthony Banbury, said contributions from overseas had all but dried up. He said the organisation was having to cut handouts to some of those most in need.
North Korea has depended on food aid from overseas for the last decade. But major donors have made no new contributions this year and the WFP is warning of disaster if they do not resume shipments.
Mr Banbury said governments had expressed great frustration with North Korea's actions, and the hostile atmosphere was making them reluctant to send more aid.
North Korea declared itself a nuclear weapons state in February, and has refused to return to international talks on its nuclear programme.
The United States says it is also considering food aid but has yet to make a decision.
Perhaps if Kim had created a market economy and promoted modern agricultural techniques, instead of blowing all his cash on weapons programs and Juche propaganda, North Koreans might have something to eat.
Steven Den Beste comments:
The difficulty is that with things as bad as they are in NK, food distribution is one of the ways the Kim government maintains control. If people get feisty, the food stops arriving. There's also good reason to believe that the majority of the food shipped to NK from the west ended up being redirected to feed NK's army, rather than reaching the "poor starving women and children" that we always hear about when this comes up. They were starving even when we were shipping in hundreds of thousands of tons of food every year.I had actually read about North Korea diverting food aid to its military before (on Steven's old site, among other places), but neglected to work that fact into my post.
The foreign governments who had been shipping in lots of food to NK finally dropped the hammer and insisted that all food distribution be under international control and monitoring to make sure it went where it was intended to go. But that doesn't suit the Kim government, which refused to agree to those terms. So that's why the food shipments dried up.
The WFP knows all this, but doesn't want to talk about it because it doesn't fit their narrative: "evil, greedy, rich western nations are refusing to help feed starving NK women and children". Actually, the western nations have decided that they're tired of feeding NK's army, and hope that by cutting off the food that they can hasten NK's collapse.