According to this article, more than six million people there “urgently need food aid because of substantial falls in domestic production, food imports and international aid, the United Nations said on Friday.” Sixteen million (58.27%) of the 27,457,492 people there rely on the state-run distribution system.
There is no mention in the article of some of the more significant reasons for the devastating food shortage: diversion of food supplies to a large active (1,170,000), reserve (4,700,000) and paramilitary (189,000) military force of 6,059,000 in 2008; with significant international food aid that diversion seems likely to continue and to increase; at least those put on public display appear to be rather well nourished.
Nor are past and likely future diversions to the major and minor powers-that-be within the present Kim regime mentioned. Nor is there any mention of the significant financial resources North Korea devotes to military matters, including developing nuclear weapons and means for their delivery or to the possibility that these resources could be devoted instead to enhancing the welfare of the North Koreans through “Juche ” (self-reliance), long its slogan. Nor is any note taken that Kim Jong-il is at least as crazy as Libya’s Colonel Qaddafi.
It is not the fault of the unfortunate serfs of North Korea that they live (and die) as they do. However, by enabling the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” the more civilized countries of the world would not significantly better them and would not only prolong their misery but assist in sharpening the nuclear sword on which we have for too long sat rather than require it to be sheathed.