August 25, 2014

Kim Jong-un: Starving For Power

By Patrick M. Cronin

The world is gradually coming to the conclusion that chronic malnutrition in Kim Jong-un’s North Korea is Pyongyang’s problem.

After providing the DPRK with more than 12.5 million metric tons of food worth up to $4 billion over the past two decades, the international community has developed an acute case of donor fatigue.  Because of funding shortfalls, the World Food Program is threatening to scale back a two-year $200 million plan to feed 2.4 million North Koreans.

In a different time and context, there would be a larger humanitarian outcry, even from the United States.

Historically, the United States has been one of the largest providers of humanitarian assistance to North Korea.  But that was mostly before the North went ahead with a series of three nuclear tests (in 2006, 2009 and most recently in February 2013).  The timeframe of a fourth nuclear test is unknown, but some suspect it could happen in the near future.

Read the full op-ed at War on the Rocks. 

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