It has been confirmed by media and several reliable sources that Workers’ Party and military of North Korea plundered the granary of South Hwanghae Province, which led to starvation and death of 2-3 million people.

It has been confirmed by media and several reliable sources that Workers’ Party and military of North Korea plundered the granary of South Hwanghae Province, which led to starvation and death of 2-3 million people.

Obviously, this tragedy results from dictatorship of North Korea.

According to Amartya Sen, an Indian economist who was awarded the 1998 Nobel Memorial Prize, famines occur in dictatorships since fighting hunger is not the primary responsibility of the leaders.

Under dictatorship, the government does not distribute the resources evenly between government spending and food for citizens. The government would rather spend all the resources on indoctrinating citizens about how a powerful nation they are than paying to the basic needs – food and water – of all citizens. Thus, when the food production of the year is under demand, starvation kicks in.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) compiled statistics that the total food production of North Korea was 5.5 million tons in 2011, which increased 8.5 present than the previous year. The amounts of soybean, corn and wheat also increased 60, 11 and 2 percent respectively.

Striking enough, starvation is still happening in South Hwanghae Province, the main food production place in North Korea, because all recourses are not used to improve people’s lives.

The reality is that the North Korean government imposes a heavy tax on food in South Hwanghae Province last October. This heavy taxation is to cover the spending of the grain for army and Kim Il-sung 100-year-old birthday celebration. The profits from taxes also cover the 850 million U.S. dollars missile spending that North Korea launched in April. The total sum would be able to feed 19 million North Korea populations for a year.

All in all, the only method to save the North Koreans from starvation is to destroy totalitarian regime so that the leader can at least care more about the basic needs of citizens. Otherwise, no matter how much food North Korea can produce, people will still die from hunger.


Phoebe Fan graduated from the University of Washington with a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies. She is interested in any cultural issues from ancient Chinese literature to contemporary Western fashion.

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