Korea: Coping With The Starving Masses

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January26, 2007: While China is shipping the same amount of oil to North Korea, in 2006, as it did in 2005, food exports are down by about half (some 210,000 tons less). A lot less food is getting into North Korea, and because last years crops were below average, the population is expected to come through this Winter in very bad shape. Planners in South Korea now fear a flood of three million starving refugees (headed into China and South Korea), if the North Korean government collapses in the near future. Plans are being made on how to deal with such large numbers of malnourished refugees.

January 22, 2007: In response to U.S. accusations, the UN has halted transfers of hard currency to North Korea, and begun an audit of how UN aid money is spent in North Korea. The UN acted so promptly largely because North Korea has an extensive history of government sponsored, and directed, criminal behavior.

January 21, 2007: South Korean and American commanders are beginning to make plans for the possible collapse of the North Korean government. There is increasing Chinese diplomatic and political activity inside North Korea, and many rumors that officers from the North Korean security forces, backed by China, are plotting to overthrow the government. Interestingly, even with all these stories going around, there have been no arrests in the north. There is, however, a growing unease on the streets, among the North Korean people.

January 19, 2007: The U.S. presented the UN with evidence that North Korea has stolen up to $10 million in UN aid using a large number of scams (the most obvious ones involve overcharging for rent and services obtained in North Korea).

 

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