[KS] North Korea Food Aid Is Not a Political Tool, The New York Times Edi...
Afostercarter at aol.com
Afostercarter at aol.com
Sun May 8 09:02:15 EDT 2011
For those who wish to read the debate in full, dozens of articles
on this urgent topic from all viewpoints are helpfully collected at
In case anyone is unaware of it, NCNK's website is an extremely
useful resource on DPRK-related matters of many kinds.
Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds
In a message dated 5/1/2011 13:23:56 GMT Daylight Time, aoverl at yahoo.co.uk
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.
--- On Sat, 30/4/11, Kwang On Yoo <lovehankook at gmail.com> wrote:
I like to share this New York times Opinion with KS.
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