|THE NORTH KOREAN |
August 26, 1997
in this forum:
How widespread is the famine? What causes the indifference in South Korea? How likely is another war? Shouldn't we defer to South Korea on questions of aid? How do I help? Wouldn't a free market economy end the famine? How accurate are food estimates in North Korea? How much has China helped its ally? What is being done to prevent future famines? Additional Comments...
August 5, 1997:
The NewsHour reports on new talks between North and South Korea brought about by widespread famine in the North.
June 11, 1997:
Margaret Warner discusses the state of North Korea with World Vision Vice President Andrew Natsios.
April 8, 1997:
Two Senators report on the state of the food crisis in North Korea after returning from the region.
February 11, 1997:
The former U.S. ambassador to South Korea discusses the recent labor unrest there and the famine in North Korea.
December 31, 1996
Charles Krause leads a discussion with two experts on recent tensions between North and South Korea.
November 29, 1996
Rep. Bill Richardson (D-NM) brought home an American man who was being held in North Korea.
May 21, 1996
Facing the real possibility of famine, North Korea's government has allowed United Nations relief officials into what are normally closed borders.
A question from Eric M. Pierce of Ellicott City, MD:
Having firsthand knowledge of the plight of the North Koreans, do you feel there is a strong possibility of a rekindling of war?
Keep up the good work!
Ted Yamamori of Food for the Hungry responds:
In July, while in North Korea, I read in their English-language newspaper that war between the two Koreas is "imminent." However, high ranking government officials in the North say they desire peace and reunification. However, the North's picture of "peace and reunification" is probably quite different from South Korea's.
Andrew Natsios of World Vision responds:
The greatest risk one faces on the Korean peninsula is not of one country attacking another but of miscalculation. Famines create unpredictable events like mass population movements which can lead to dangerous miscalculations.
It is difficult to predict what the future of the North Korea and South Korea political landscape will look like in the years to come. I testified at a Senate Foreign Relations hearing on July 8 during which scenarios for answering the question: North Korea: Will It Survive to the Year 2000? were considered by several panels of experts from the Defense and State Departments, as well as a professor of history and an economist. Three broad options are possible: a road to reform, a collapse and a muddle through option.
My testimony provided a humanitarian framework in which to view the famine situation in North Korea arguing that the U.S. government needs to provide leadership to help stop the famine in North Korea, especially to prevent the deaths of thousands of children, elderly, nursing and pregnant mothers, disabled and retarded people who are the most vulnerable populations in times of famine.
Pursuing a policy of destabilization through hunger is more likely to cause a military confrontation between North and South Korea than it is the collapse of the regime.