Who’s Up for Another Famine?

Well, not everybody, obviously:

Un is holding that guy’s hand like it’s a cheese danish!

Others will not be so lucky:

[T]he U.N.’s annual crop assessment for North Korea will shortly be published. These annual assessments have been published since the Great North Korean Famine of the mid-1990s killed as many as 2.5 million people, and they are supposed to warn the international humanitarian system of an impending famine. This assessment will show that drought early this summer seriously damaged the crop so that the harvest will drive the country, always on the edge of starvation, ever deeper into nutritional disaster.

Nutritional disaster: I usually reserve that expression for when my ordinarily iron sill dissolves at the thought of a package of Stella D’oro Swiss Fudge cookies.

But I can see how it could have another connotation.

While famines anywhere have terrible humanitarian consequences, in North Korea’s case in particular, they have political consequences because they have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. While the North Korean government has been building its nuclear arsenal and the maintaining the third largest land army in Asia, its people have been sliding into deepening poverty and acute malnutrition, stunting generations of children. One study shows that the average North Korean solider is 10 inches shorter than those in the South Korean military—a sign of chronic acute malnutrition affecting an entire generation of young North Koreans.

Not that there’s much humor in mass starvation, but the author concludes ominously.

Before, when the North Korean regime has been under internal stress, it has diverted the population’s attention from its suffering by creating a military crisis with its external enemies: the South Koreans, the United States, and Japan. For 40 years the United States has restrained South Korea from using its substantial military power to respond to these attacks. But the South Korean population and political elite now believe that this restraint has encouraged North Korean aggression. If in the middle of North Korea’s current crisis it follows its old practice and attempts such an attack, South Korea will respond aggressively with unpredictable results. The deceptive quiet of the Korean peninsula may be shortly be interrupted by a new crisis. And it is unlikely a diplomatically and militarily weak America retreating from world leadership is in any position to do much about it.

I’m a big fan of Mrs. Kim, as is well known. She’s the face that launched a thousand missiles. Though probably only about 500 calories.

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