Friday, June 29, 2012

Famine stalks the Juche Joint . . .

NORTH KOREA just can't seem to get a break. According to the Telegraph, "North Korea facing worst drought in 100 years", North Korean soldiers have been dispatched to water crops that are withering in the worst drought to affect the country in more than a century, with the United Nations warning that yields for staples such as wheat, barley and potatoes will inevitably be affected.

— field of broken dreams —
The maize crop stands a mere 15 inches tall in many places in North and South Hwanghae provinces, instead of the 60 inches that it should be by now, farmers said.

Nearly 50,000 acres in western parts of the country - known as the breadbasket of North Korea - have been affected by the drought, which will worsen an already acute food shortage. In September, the United Nations World Food Programme warned that 3.5 million people were at risk of malnutrition and starvation in North Korea, which has a total population of 24 million.

And while the nation appears to have weathered that potential crisis, a shortage of summer crops this year will lead to more shortages in the bitterly cold winter.

The question is, what are the generals behind the new puppet going to do about it? Can this latest Kim iteration, Kim Jong-un, do anything about it? Could it lead to North Korea's perestroika? Or a desperate invasion of South Korea? The new year should be very interesting . . .

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