The North Korea Food Shortage Deepens

The North Korea Food Shortage Deepens

Yeah, I know, the Iran situation is more in the headlines, but nobody knows anything and everybody is shooting off their mouths.  I shall comment on that one when things settle down a bit.

Instead I shall provide info less widely reported coming out of nkecon  on the still-unreported-in-MSM story about the increasingly bad food situation in North Korea (DPRK). There are multiple reports.  Drought has hit the principal rice growing area in DPRK.  Also, there is now a serious situation regarding potatoes, the old backup for wheat and rice failures. and generally a widely relied upon staple for DPRK diets.

The latest hot story regarding potatoes is that a couple of people have been arrested and sent to labor camps for stealing potato seeds.  Reportedly this often goes on at this time (actually May when there is a two week period when usually most planting occurs).  Most of the time these people are not themselves using the potato seeds to plant them themselves but selling them to others.  But this year the situation was much more serious last month, and these arrests are a sign of it.

As I argued earlier, this situation is probably aggravating political conflicts within DPRK.  We have seen a weird letter from Kim Jong Un to Trump even dumping on Biden. Trump has now further disgraced himself by not only praising this letter, including specifically for its Biden remarks, but even going so far as to say after Kim’s dead brother was reported to have been a CIA informant that, no, not during his presidency will we let the CIA spy on North Korea.  We shall only use DOD intel agencies to keep track of DPRK nuclear weapons programs.

I remind all readers that the fact that DPRK has nuclear weapons is because in the first few months of the second Bush presidency, Cheney and Rumsfeld and John Bolton beat out Colin Powell on Korean policy with their fantasy that we should bring about regime change in DPRK rather than continuing with the nuclear deal that had DPRK not developing nuclear weapons that was in place and more or less functioning, despite some wrinkles. After the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Bolton gang got their way, DPRK withdrew from international agreements and began building nuclear weapons, which it is still doing, with not a damn thing idiot Trump has done to slow them down.

Hopefully, readers of this can see the analogy to the Iran nuclear situation and the appallingly idiotic policies Trump is carrying out, that make the Cheney et al gang look like choir  boys.

For Anne-nominous, still no word on those DPRK folks rumored to have been killed. That nkecon says nothing about that, well, nobody knows.  But they remain disappeared.  More important is that Kim Jong Un seems to have no functioning underlings to negotiate these matters. Josh Rogin in WaPo notes that successful nuclear negotiations involve underlings from both sides doing long and hard work on necessary details, but there are no underlings on the DPRK side. This is now strictly a Trump-Kim show, but it looks like neither of them is sufficiently competent at the art of the deal to pull a serious nuclear one off, whether or not the missing negotiators in DPRK are dead or alive.

Barkley Rosser