North Korea has given its long suffering population a bizarre Christmas present. In a country that not long ago suffered through a famine that killed 2.5 million people, told the U.N.’s World Food Program (WFP) that it was no longer needed. The government thinks things are going well enough that the best way to keep the population fed is to centralize grain distribution. I’m no fan of the U.N. but the very idea that the same government which oversaw a famine can actually do a better job is laughable at best.
So why kick the U.N. out? The most likely answer is that the market based experiments started in 2002 that allows farmers to sell their excess grain was far more successful than the officials in Pyongyang expected. Continued success would lead to more demands for expansion of the reforms and that would threaten the ability of President Kim Jong Il to maintain the iron fisted rule that his family has had since 1948.
It’s also possible that this is a ploy to loosen or eliminate the monitoring that accompanies the WFP program. With little or no monitoring who knows where the food will really go.
My question is, with a population of some 22 million people whose suffering is only bound to increase as a result of this decision, where is the outrage from human rights organizations and the media? Maybe it’s because there are similarities between Kim Jong Il and Saddam and that would remind the public that it is actually a good thing to get rid of a dictator.
That can’t be it because that would mean the media has an agenda in covering the news and we all know that isn’t true. Or is it?