[KS] Koreanstudies Digest, Vol 95, Issue 1

Hwang, Su-Kyoung shwan2000 at emory.edu
Mon May 2 04:04:18 EDT 2011

Perhaps this is not news to some, but it seems that North Korean food crisis is imminent. Below
article forecasts June to be another hard hit month like the 1990s. Not enough time to wait for a
substantial reform to take place and 6 million is too great a number to let starve or die. I wonder
how many organizations are working to pressure for the food aid?


Su-kyoung Hwang

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Subject: Koreanstudies Digest, Vol 95, Issue 1

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<<------------ KoreanStudies mailing list DIGEST ------------>>

Today's Topics:

   1. Re: North Korea Food Aid Is Not a Political Tool, The New
      York Times Editorial, April 29, 2011 (Balazs Szalontai)


Message: 1
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 17:10:19 +0100 (BST)
From: Balazs Szalontai <aoverl at yahoo.co.uk>
To: Korean Studies Discussion List <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
Subject: Re: [KS] North Korea Food Aid Is Not a Political Tool, The
        New York Times Editorial, April 29, 2011
Message-ID: <927852.22813.qm at web24607.mail.ird.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Dear Dr. Yoo,
thanks a lot for posting this article! I agree with the point that food aid should not be a political tool, but unfortunately it has invariably been used (and abused) for diplomatic and strategic purposes. In my personal opinion, one particularly negative aspect of this practice was that a far stronger linkage was created between the availability of aid and North Korea's proliferation/non-proliferation performance than between aid and?North Korea's economic reform process. If one assumes that a relatively successful reform process might reduce Pyongyang's aid dependency and thus?make the leadership less interested in extorting aid through nuclear blackmail and/or obtaining hard currency through?arms exports and?criminal financial activities, a logical conclusion would be to use aid to reward the?DPRK if it implements reforms but deny?(or reduce)?aid if it does not. Significantly, neither China nor Vietnam had access to substantial aid from Western
 and Japanese sources before they started to introduce radical reforms.
Unfortunately,?the political and military context of the aid?largely broke the potential links between aid and reform.?A few months after the July 2002 reforms, U.S. aid ceased because of the nuclear enrichment issue, and later Japan also reduced its imports from the DPRK for the same reason. In 2007-2008, North Korea made some nuclear concessions, but at the same time introduced "counter-reforms," and cracked down on private entrepreneurs. It seems that the North Korean leaders do not really want to simultaneously implement reforms and make nuclear concessions.?For understandable reasons, South Korea and the U.S. attributes more importance to the nuclear issue than to economic reforms, but if there are no effective reforms, the periodical nuclear crises are more likely to recur than if there are.???
Balazs Szalontai

--- On Sat, 30/4/11, Kwang On Yoo <lovehankook at gmail.com> wrote:


I like to share this New York times Opinion with KS.


Thank You.

Kwang-On Yoo
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