Pyongyang’s Hunger Games
Kim family’s strategic failure to feed is evidenced by five salient indicators:
(1) The lack of change in North Korea’s policy over the past decade plus,
(2) North Korea’s non-cooperation with international aid organizations,
(3) The ineffective distribution of food aid,
(4) The allocation of domestic funds from food to defense (military, nuclear weapons) programs, and
(5) The use of food to ensure loyalty and control to Kim’s regime.
The DPRK’s systematic and orchestrated denials of the right to food, most notably through the 1990s, violate international law, the right to life, and constitute crimes against humanity.
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North Korea’s starvation politics reinforce state power and enable regime survival. Simply stated, those who are favorable before the state are more likely to receive food, to receive life. As the state controls food production, management, distribution, and aid receipt, Kim Jong Il’s regime essentially determines who will live and who will die.
From 1994 to 1998, independent analysis estimates between 2-3 million people died due to starvation, disease, or sickness caused by lack of food.
Pyongyang’s Hunger Games: North Korea’s use of foreign aid to maintain its hunger policies and regime-survival and control.
INTERNATIONAL AID. “We stand before a huge ethical dilemma: Is it possible – and, if so, to what extent – to help starving North Koreans, whose fates depend on us a great deal more than on their government, if at the same time we are forever deceived and systematically blackmailed? An army armed with weapons of mass destruction is, to be sure, a permanent threat to the whole region.
Total humanitarian assistance to North Korea from 1996 to 2005 peaked in 2001 and totaled over $2.43 billion, not including informal aid and aid from China. From 1995 to 2003, formal assistance to North Korea from the U.S. alone reached over $1 billion.