The relations between the two countries located on the Korean Peninsula are currently going through the times that far from the best. They have never been simple, and the American president added more fuel to the fire. Now, Seoul and Pyongyang have to start from the very beginning. The situation is hard, and relations between the North and South Koreas can be tested any moment and for any reason. For example, the food problem, which is very pressing for North Korea. The World Health Organization has information according to which the citizens of North Korea eat twice less than a human being requires. North Korea suffers greatly from the natural disasters and bad harvests, and the country is constantly on the edge of starvation.
North Korea cannot count on food aid from other countries this year. The international community has another favorite now: Afghanistan. The efforts to render humanitarian aid are basically concentrated on this country at present moment, which resulted in the considerable reduction of the food program for North Korea.
Pyongyang may actually count on South Korea and on the USA, which is still ready to render food aid. However, it is not known if the Korean government will agree to accept such help, especially if it comes from the USA.
In the meantime, the citizens of South Korea have another reason to feel ashamed in front of their northern compatriots. The South Korean government informed that its citizens had thrown out four million tons of food over the recent year, which cost six billion dollars, whereas the entire food reserves of North Korea made up 3.9 million tons. Nevertheless, this information cannot be called surprising. The level of income of North Korea’s citizens cannot even be compared to the incomes of those people who live in South Korea: it is hundreds of degrees different. However, there is also a moral aspect in the picture too, which is actual not only for South Korea. North Korea is not the only country in the world in which the people suffer from hunger. The people of dozens of countries fall the victims of hunger, especially in Africa and in Asia, because of the selfish policy of their governments, bad weather conditions, and bad use of land. However, Western countries are arguing with each other because of the overproduction of food, so maybe the governments of the highly-developed countries should look deeper into the subject,share their up-to-date agricultural technologies, and so on? There would be a lot more good from that than from messianic ideas of democracy and freedom.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Europe which is panic-stricken over the consequences of rising energy and food prices could strike a treacherous blow to Ukraine this winter, writes Simon Tisdall for The Guardian.