Korea: March 10, 2001


A US State Department analysis asserts that one million North Koreans have died since 1995 because of famine and related diseases. Earlier reports have placed the death toll as high as two million. What is known, from aid worker's first hand reports and information from Chinese and others allowed to move through the country, is that the hunger is widespread. Much of the food aid is diverted to keep the armed forces well fed. The economy is stalled, with an energy shortage keeping many factories shut. Drought or excessive rain have taken turns destroying crops. While some South Korean firms have been allowed in to set up factories, this is still a very small part of the economy. The police and security agencies are still paid well and fed adequately, and continue to run a very well disciplined totalitarian state. 


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