Sunday, June 05, 2005

Guerrillas in North Korea?

Nicole Winfield reports in the Associated Press that the Kim regime has begun a mass relocation effort, driving millions of citydwellers to the countryside in what looks to be a desperate effort to fend off a catastrophic famine. Food-distribution NGOs report that despite the lack of significant weather or agricultural incidents, what little production Pyongyang gets out of its farms may drop so precipitously that millions may face starvation. It appears that the famine has been artificially induced, to an even greater extent than Stalinist agricultural systems naturally produce them. At a point in time where rumors have flown for months about the stability of the Kim regime, such an artifical result has to beg the question: is Kim deliberately touching off a famine?

What would Kim gain by doing so? First, he could use the impending catastrophe to squeeze more aid out of Western countries. Already, donor nations suspect that, like dictators before, Kim reroutes the aid to his military and political leadership while leaving the peasants to starve. Aid donations have tailed off significantly over the past year because of the lack of verification on their use, and that may be causing Kim some problems with his military. Even more sinister, reports coming from Pyongyang noted that Kim faced unprecedented criticism in the streets of the capital, although it remained mostly anonymous. A series of incidents, including a massive explosion at a train station, has analysts wondering if Kim may be facing significantly organized opposition for the first time in his life. Emptying the cities may not have anything to do with a bad harvest or food shortages, but may be a defensive measure designed to keep his enemies from banding together to topple his regime.


At June 08, 2005 12:36 AM, Blogger Sol Ta Triane said...

And Am-Nasty International is concerned with the handling of books in a US prison.
Over 2/3 of the nations is the United Nations are non-democratic. The U. S. conservative approach is the light of the world.


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