Reports of worsening conditions in DPRK

This week there have been several reports about conditions worsening following the DPRK’s currency reform.  Here are links to some of those stories:

New Signs of Unrest in North Korea?
Peterson Institute
Conversation with Marcus Noland (audio)
March 22, 2010

Resistance against N. Korean regime taking root, survey suggests
Washington Post
Blaine Harden
March 24, 2010

Political Attitudes under Repression: Evidence from North Korean Refugees
Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
East West Center Working Paper
No. 21, March 2010

North Koreans fear another famine amid economic crisis
Los Angeles Times
Barbara Demick
3/23/2010

North Koreans fear the country is on the verge of a new famine
Times of London
Jane Macartney
3/20/2010

According to the AFP, the US is ready to provide food assistance but the North Koreans banned assistance a year ago:

The United States would consider resuming food aid to North Korea if Pyongyang moves to lift a year-old refusal of humanitarian assistance, the State Department said Tuesday.

“There are profound needs for the North Korean population, and to the extent that North Korea wants to accept aid from the international community, including the United States, we will be willing to consider that,” department spokesman Philip Crowley said at a daily briefing.

In June 2008, Washington agreed to send 500,000 tonnes of food aid to North Korea, including 400,000 tonnes through the UN’s World Food Program and the remainder through other non-governmental agencies.

In March last year, however, the hermit nation began refusing US food aid, without offering a reason.

“If we (provide humanitarian assistance) in the future, just as we’ve done that in the past, our efforts will be to make sure that the aid actually goes to the North Korean people who need it most and is not diverted to other groups such as the military,” Crowley said.

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