Asia Rights

Journal of Human Rights, Media and Society in Asia and the Pacific

CRISIS IN NORTH KOREA?

A number of reports from North Korea are suggesting that the food situation in North Korea continues to worsen.  In addition, North Korea is reported to have been hit by storms and torrential rain killing and injuring dozens of people.

However, Agence France-Presse reports that South Korea has abandoned its efforts and negotiations to send flood aid to the North amid disagreement with Pyongyang over what kind of aid to send. See here for the report.

The WFP recently gained access to North Korea and have produced this worrying report on hunger in North Korea. See here for the video.

Further, the UN World Food Programme has once again highlighted the situation in North Korea stating that at least one-third of North Korean children under five are chronically malnourished with more at risk of slipping into acute stages of malnutrition unless targeted assistance is sustained. A report in the British Guardian newspaper also reiterated the threat of malnourishment, highlighting the case of orphans, official warnings of failed harvests and the scale of devastating food shortages in the country following a harsh winter and widespread flooding.

However, the South Korean government have stated that they believe that the food crisis in North Korea is ‘not serious’.

But given the scale of malnourishment in North Korea, even outside of periods of particular difficulty such as harsh winters and flooding, can anyone really deny that for the people trying to live and feed their families there is a perpetual and serious ‘Crisis in North Korea?

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