Clarice Feldman at the American Thinker discusses the glorious abundance and prosperity of communism desperate food shortages in North Korea. Feldman apparently is in contact with an American in Asia who translates posts and new reports from Korea and Japan about conditions in North Korea.
From the initial translation:
Sources say that food situation in N. Korean military have rapidly deteriorated since the second half of last year. Civilians learned to survive without government ration, but soldiers cannot survive unless the state provide them with food. Stopped food aid from international community dealt a serious blow to them.
According to one of the sources, since the latter part of last year, many units can only provide a few dozen corn kernels or a couple of potatos (per meal) and they have only enough for two meals (a day.) Order came down to make soldiers sleep in the afternoon and not put them into training or work as much as possible.
That sounds pretty drastic. Military personnel are not afforded the option of growing their own food like civilians, and apparently malnutrition is a huge problem for the North Korean military. The problem has been increasing due to the reduction of food aid to North Korea from other countries. Apparently the bounties and glories of communism can’t keep up with the subsistence demands of the people of North Korea. Of course, communism does have a tendency to result in mass starvation …
Thomas Lifson at American Thinker adds his comments to this:
Note that the effect of food aid to North Korea has been to sustain the army and (no doubt) the government elite. All the deals with North Korea to supposedly halt nuclear weapons development have had the net effect of cementing the regime in power.
It’s a good point, and one that should be kept in mind whenever any aid program is proposed to a totalitarian state. Whenever we give dictators like this aide, it goes straight to the military and the party in charge, not to the people. This was evident in Iraq as well. Now that the aide is cut off, we can clearly see who was benefiting from it. Fortunately the people of North Korea seem to have means of providing themselves with food — for now.
Lifson speculates on the difficulties that South Korea and other countries will face rebuilding the North should Kim Jong-Il’s regime collapse. It will make the reunification of Germany look smooth and simple by comparison, I’m sure. But I’m more concerned that North Korea will start a war to acquite the food resources it needs elsewhere.