Should the UN Subsidize North Korea’s Oppressive Regime?

Frequently, I have made the observation that economic history reveals that the more a government spends out of the gross domestic product, the more miserable are its people. Now comes North Korea to help prove my point.

SEOUL—The United Nations aid program for malnourished North Koreans may close after raising only a fraction of the money it needs to operate in the country, a senior U.N. official said.


The agency, which has operated in North Korea since 1995, could shut down early next year if there is no indication it will be able to raise needed funds by the end of October, he said.


While North Korea is getting better at feeding its people, hundreds of thousands of young infants and their mothers remain chronically malnourished, he said.

… the program is far from its goal of $50 million, already a significant reduction from the original target of $200 million set last year.

The North Korea food-assistance program has drawn flak from critics who say the regime exploits the largess, devoting its resources to developing its nuclear-weapons program while its people suffer. Critics also say the agency can’t be sure its assistance is reaching the intended recipients.


“Outside humanitarian assistance will not work in North Korea unless it is intrusive—and the WFP has no stomach for such work,” Mr. Eberstadt said.[1]

The fact that the United Nations wants to subsidize this black hole of human suffering is irrational and ridiculous. Rather, the United Nations should tell North Korea that they won’t get another can of beans until the regime resigns, they stop building nuclear weapons, and they promote land ownership by the people who could then feed themselves. In the late 1980’s, the Chinese permitted its people to grow crops in their “backyard” and sell the produce at free-market prices to anyone. About ten years thereafter they achieved agricultural self-sufficiency.

 Perhaps one of the best ways to get a beginning perspective on North Korea is to position yourself on a satellite high in the sky on a clear night and look down onto the Korean peninsula. North Korea will be in complete darkness, while immediately adjacent South Korea will be ablaze with light…

 [A]fter the end of World War II…more than 2 million Koreans moved from North to South following the division of Korea into Soviet and American military zones of administration. This southward exodus continued after the establishment of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) in 1948 and during the 1950-53 Korean War. The North Korean population is 22.5 million compared with 46.4 million in South Korea. (63)

The forces of fate consigned North Korea to the Soviet Union and South Korea to the Americans.

Here is a comparison of the two Koreas who share a common border but who had very different “teachers and benefactors” after the Korean War of the early 1950s.

  • Unfortunately, North Korea’s centrally planned economy produces other things that are very deadly.
  • In 1992-1993 the North Korean media began to extol the virtue of having only two meals a day instead of three, claiming the latter was unhealthy and excessive.
  • The vulnerable agricultural sector experienced a massive failure in 1995-96, expanding to full-fledged famine by 1996-99.
  • By late 1995, the North Korean famine was becoming public knowledge all over the world, and by early 1999 it was being estimated that two to three million people had died prematurely because of the food crisis.
  • North Korea (officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or DPRK) is claimed to have an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, and claims to possess nuclear weapons. The CIA asserts that North Korea also has a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons. North Korea was a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but withdrew in 2003…
  • On October 9, 2006, the North Korean government issued an announcement that it had successfully conducted a nuclear test for the first time…
  • In April 2009, reports surfaced that North Korea has become a “fully fledged nuclear power”, an opinion shared by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradai…

“One of the world’s last centrally planned economies”—what a pathetic echo of Lenin’s and Stalin’s Soviet Marxist communism. What a definitive ruination of a people by a tyrant springing out of the dominant single party communist government. What an unjust catastrophe for the people imprisoned there. What a threat to world peace as North Korea proliferates nuclear technology, weapons, and missiles around the world. In the darkness of North Korea, communism and socialism and their resultant single party tyrannies absolutely and definitively condemn themselves before all of humanity.[2]

Why does the UN want to subsidize and therefore help stabilize governments that are creating humanitarian crises, enslavement of people and the building of nuclear weapons??

 By the way, do you know anyone who wants to emigrate to North Korea?

Maybe the leaders of North Korea should be indicted for crimes against humanity.

[1] WSJ: UN North Korea Food Program in Danger 9/25/14

[2] Adapted from Fred N Sauer’s book A Simple Guide: How Liberalism, Euphemism for Socialism, Destroys Peoples and Nations

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