North Korea Goes Cold and Hungry

Well, as they say, “This could get interesting”.

North Korea is having a bit of trouble growing food. That’s what happens to the most marginal producer when things get just a touch colder.

North Korea knows it.

All the countries around them seem to know it.

Russian even knows that cold is on the way and is interested in preparations.

So what are we doing? Oh yeah, destroying our energy infrastructure and putting up windmills and solar farms. Preventing the production of oil and the drilling of wells for it. Making fuel run to double the price of just a couple of years ago. Like that will make food cheaper or more abundant.

The Links

There are several stories that have “popped” up. I caught a “trailer” for a story on Fox, but never did see the story itself (A “Gretta” story that got trumped by “The Name Of The Rose”…)

First up, England (which has a story about China):

China builds higher fences over fears of instability in North Korea

By Peter Foster and agencies, Beijing 9:19AM BST 30 Mar 2011

Oddly, the “Top Standard” has a different date: Saturday 14 May 2011

Part of a movement, I fear, to try to make things look more “fresh” by overdating…

China is reinforcing fences and has stepped up patrols along its border with North Korea as fears mount of a catastrophic famine in the secretive Stalinist state.

Fences more than 13ft high, topped with barbed wire, are now being erected along an eight-mile stretch of the Yalu river around the Chinese city of Dandong. This is a popular escape point for North Korea refugees seeking food or better lives, Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

“It’s the first time such strong border fences are being erected here. Looks like it is related to the unstable situation in North Korea,” a resident said of the work which began last November but is ongoing.

Previously the border was only marked by a 10ft-high fence which “anybody could cross if they really wanted”, the resident added.

Gee, a border fence, to keep out illegal immigrants. Where are all the Progressives lamenting the horrible racist polices of China?

Fears for the stability of North Korea have been heightened in recent weeks with reports of a growing food crisis following the severest winter in 60 years and an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that has hit the oxen that are still mainly used to plough the North’s fields.

This week, in a highly unusual step, foreign aid agencies based in Pyongyang issued a joint statement warning that 6 million North Koreans now need urgent food aid because crops of potatoes, wheat and barley have all failed.

OK, NOW can we all agree that:

1) WARM is GOOD.

2) Global Warming would be GOOD.

3) We are not getting warming…

Next up, commodity traders

Last Updated : 26 April 2011 at 20:00 IST

TOKYO (Commodity Online) : Impoverished and isolated North Korea is heading for yet another non-political trouble as Japan, South Korea and the US decided not to offer food aid to the country for some time.

According to a UN spokesman, recent attacks on its soil by the North forced the South to withdraw food aid unless there is a sincere apology from the North while Japan and the U.S. have also proven unresponsive.

Analysts said North Koreans face starvation this spring due to crop failure and floods and have asked the United Nations for 430,000 tons of food aid.


South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported this week that North Korea was so desperate for food that it was even seeking aid from some of the world’s poorest nations such as Zimbabwe and former communist ally Poland.

A report from south korea said North Korean authorities possess 300,000 tons of food for the regular army and 700,000 tons for reserves and ordinary people.

North Korea’s one million tons of war time reserves is enough to feed the whole population of 24 million for 83 days, the report said.

Well, at least they HAVE some “reserves”. The West has moved to a interhemisphere “Just in time” food trading process where there are a few weeks to a couple of months of food in the pipeline at most at any one time. If it ‘breaks down’ there is nothing to speak of to which to turn…

And frankly, they sunk South Korean ships, they make trouble for the USA just about everywhere, and they fire missiles at Japan. IMHO, they can go talk to China and Russia and Saudi Arabia about food shipments.

How about CBS in the USA?

May 11, 2011
Debate rages about food aid to North Korea

(AP) SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The U.N. says hunger is driving some North Koreans to eat more wild grass, and humanitarians are pressuring the U.S. and South Korea to send food. But South Koreans who study the North say the crisis has been overstated.

Well, IMHO, those “humanitarians” can go ask the OPEC countries for some help. They have all the money. We’re busy right now with our own problems and a passel of folks trying to kill us. Many of them buying arms from North Korea. So, as they say “Not my problem” and “See him, he took all my money”…

American televangelist Franklin Graham, who has warned of famine and joined calls for more food aid, arrived in the North Korean capital Tuesday to discuss possible contributions from a Christian charity. After a visit there last month, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter blasted Washington and Seoul on the issue.

Well, of “Often Wrong” Jimmy Carter says it’s a “must do” it’s clearly a “don’t even think about it”…

“One of the most important human rights is to have food to eat, and for South Korea and the U.S. and others to deliberately withhold food aid to the North Korean people is really a human rights violation,” Carter said.

It’s a human right to CHOOSE to build nuclear weapons and missiles and shoot them at your neighbors or instead build greenhouses, tractors, and fertilizer factories. They chose wrong. It is not a right to expect me to do a damn thing about it. They have the right to die of being stupid. That’s natures law, not mine. Maybe if they had been nicer to us I’d feel like helping out a fellow traveler on this planet, but a rattle snake asks for just a tiny bit of my blood after trying to bite me for a few years? Not interested. Not even sorry about it.

The U.N. in March called for more than 430,000 metric tons (474,000 tons) of food aid to fend off disaster, and activists want the U.S. and South Korea to override any political reasons for not giving. But activists, analysts and governments still argue whether North Korea is anywhere close to the famine it saw in the 1990s and what outsiders are obliged to do.

“It is an exaggeration to say there is a looming crisis,” said Kwon Tae-jin, a South Korean expert on North Korean food and agriculture.

South Korea’s intelligence agency estimates that the North’s food production may actually have increased last year to 5.11 million metric tons (5.6 million tons), about 100,000 tons more than 2009. The agency head reportedly released the figures to a closed parliamentary committee.
In any case, figures for the North’s food production are likely to undercount the total, said the Daily NK, a Seoul-based media outlet that specializes in the North and has sources inside the country.

Many collective farms in the North underreport their food production to the central government so they can sell extra food to raise money for fertilizer and farm equipment, Daily NK said in a report posted online.

And it might even be a gimmick? Oh, I note in passing that at least the farmers there are smart enough to know how to turn some profit into more “inputs” and mechanization to get ever more “outputs”…
There also are suspicions Pyongyang is exaggerating shortages and seeking food donations in part so it can devote more resources to its campaign to build a prosperous society during the 2012 centennial of the birth of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung.

Well, it’s up to them to choose “guns or butter” and “tractors or party time”, not me.

Cold? Yup. Like a cold China North Wind….

Down Texas Way

Looks like I’m not the only one with a bit of “attitude” about it. Must be a Texas thing… I may not be born Texan, but I married into a Texas family and that’s got to count for something…

Our Opinion: North Korea: Food for hungry, or food for a party?
Times Record News
Posted May 13, 2011 at midnight

North Korea is starving — again — at least according to the United Nations, private aid groups, former President Jimmy Carter and North Korea itself. The world agency is calling for 474,000 tons of food aid from donor nations to avert a famine. There are the usual stories of peasants augmenting their skimpy diets with grass and wild herbs.
There also is the perennial suspicion that Pyongyang diverts international food aid to feed the military and the Communist Party elite. And this year there is a new suspicion: That Pyongyang is hoarding food to hold a blowout celebration in 2012, the centennial of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea. North Korea is fully capable of either or both.

The U.S. suspended food aid in 2009 after the North expelled the international monitors there to make sure the aid got to where it was intended. The South, once a large-scale provider of aid, says it will resume shipments only after the North apologizes for sinking one of the South’s warships and for shelling one of its islands.

North Korea is likely betting that if the United Nations and assorted humanitarian groups tug at U.S. coattails long enough, Washington will give in and start shipping food with no or very few strings attached.

The U.S. should relent only if North Korea allows outside monitors to come in and, without interference, check the progress of the food shipments from dockside to the final distribution centers, ensuring that nothing is diverted to the military, the favored few or the Kim centennial celebration. It’s little enough to ask.

We should not twist the South’s arm to join us. The South has had its good intentions thrown back in its face too many times. Let Seoul decide for itself.Carter says that withholding food from North Korea is “a human-rights violation.” True, human rights are being violated, but it’s not the U.S. doing the violating.

So my suggestion is that as North Korea has defined the USA, South Korea and Japan as it’s “enemies”, it go ask it’s friends for food. If it has any.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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4 Responses to North Korea Goes Cold and Hungry

  1. Pascvaks says:

    China has lots of food, in fact, China has lots of everything. When China runs out of food, maybe SK, Japan, and the Judeo-Christian West can find it in their pea-pickin hearts to swap NK food for land (something we really need to do with Mexico too; well, maybe better to swap “jobs for land”;-). Besides, we really only have to “turn the other cheek” once and we’ve been bending over backwards turning every cheek we’ve got in rapid succession for near 60 years. If the NK’s don’t like their government, let them do what everyone else on the planet seems to be doing: “Throw the bums out!”

  2. R. de Haan says:

    Running out of money is just as dangerous as running out of food.

    Watch Egypt but also Algeria this summer.

    Both countries heavily depending on massive food imports.

    From Spengler:

    The hunger to come to Egypt

    We have this report from Joseph D’Aleo about agricultural progress in the USA

    Another article about global weather impact area’s:

    This recent assessment from David Archibald about the agricultural impact of the “Eddy Minimum”

    All confirming E.M statement that warm is good and cold is bad.

    And here a short article from Joe Bastardi explaining the spring weather problems.
    Just the map with the weather zones tell us mor than a thousand words:

  3. Soronel Haetir says:

    They might be cold and hungry but at least they are living in a proper worker’s paradise.

Comments are closed.