Pro-North Korean groups in
South Korea have lost ground, as North Korea continues to renege on agreements
to shut down its nuclear weapons program. In the last few days, there has been
a major (30,000 people) anti-North Korean demonstration, and continued
government refusal to send 400,000 tons of food north, until the nuclear
weapons program is halted.
June 6, 2007: North Korea will need about six
million tons of food aid this year, in order to avoid widespread starvation.
June is the peak month for food shortages, as the first crops have not yet come
in, and last years food supplies have run out. This year, North Korea
apparently dipped into its emergency reserve to prevent any civil disorder. In
an effort to minimize shortages, even more soldiers were sent to work on the
farms during the planting season. The soldiers can't do much of anything else,
as they haven't got the fuel to move any of their tanks or trucks. North Korea
does not allow weapons to be fired much, as ammo is considered too expensive
for regular training exercises.
June 3, 2007: Some North Korean border guards are
now equipped with sniper rifles, so they can kill people trying to get across
the Chinese border, and are too far away for the border guard patrol to grab.
On the other side, Chinese border guards are now equipped with night vision equipment.
China is trying to reduce the flow of refugees from North Korea, while the
North Korean border guards want people to pay bribes to cross, and not risk
their lives crossing for free.
June 2, 2007: The North Korean coast guard
only goes out on "special missions" because of the shortage of fuel.
As a result, more North Koreans are risking prison, or execution, to escape by
boat. However, some North Koreans just get lost at sea, and stumble into South
Korean waters, where the much more active South Korean coast guard caches them,
and escorts them back to North Korean waters.