2019.04.14 (일)

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ENGLISH

[LEE AERAN COLUMN] NORTH KOREAN FOOD CRISIS—A REQUIEM FOR KIM JONG-UN?




North Korean famine is in the offing again.

Liberty Korea Post has learned that people are dying of hunger in the northern region, namely HamKyungBukdo, HamKyungNamdo, and YangGangdo.

 

Kim Jong-un had issued a handwritten letter last year prior to PyeongChang Winter Olympics claiming that “There will be no Arduous March the second time. It seems that was a lie.

 

Moreover, he had issued an order prior to his trip to Hanoi for the summit with Trump to get ready the food rationing centers. However, what he had coined as "Hanoi showdown" turned out to be "Hanoi bust." People are upset. The Workers Party had tried to hide the Hanoi failure from people, but the news spread like wildfire first along the border area and now all across North Korea, causing panic among the population. This panic, in turn, caused jangmadang (marketplace) activities to freeze because of the people's uncertainty about the future. The people who had been subsisting on a day-to-day basis through jangmadang trading now face a danger of starvation.

 

Jangmadang was the only means for the population to survive, and the people should have been allowed to take the jangmadang system to the next level—free, open market. However, a free, open market system spells trouble for Kim Jong-un who had succeeded his power via dynastic transition under the dictatorial planned economy system. Adopting the free, open market system would be akin to giving up the omnipotent powers he had inherited from his father and grandfather. To maintain his power base, he has to keep tight control of the population by way of fear politics, as well as fostering national pride at being a nuclear power and possessor of MWD. 

 

International communities have been supplying food since the 1980s, even during the famine period in the 1990s, but the food crises have persisted, while the Kims focused on developing nukes, missiles, and WMD. 

 

It has become obvious to the people of North Korea that Kim's nukes and missiles are not doing any good for them. Rather, they are a hindrance to economic development and their well-being. The people are voicing their opposition to Kim Jong-un’s stupid policies. 

 

In private, many say that the only way to solve the economic crisis to get rid of the Kim dynasty. People of North Korea are not about to go through the second coming of the Arduous March and suffer the famine like before. They will rise and deal a heavy blow to the Kim Jong-un and his inept gang.   

 

Born in North Korea, Lee Aeran is an human rights activist, educator, nutritionist, journalist, and philanthropist. She escaped to South Korea In 1997. She has received many awards for her work, including International Women of Courage award in 2010, among others.

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