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Tales of starvation and death in North Korea

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  • Tales of starvation and death in North Korea

    Tales of starvation and death in North Korea

    In North Korea an extremely rare conference of the country's Workers' Party is to take place next week. The last time there was such a meeting was 30 years ago.

    It's believed this meeting may be laying the foundations for a transfer of power from Kim Jong-il to his son Kim Jong-un, so preserving the Kim family's grip on North Korea.

    Getting independent news from North Korea is extremely rare but China correspondent Damian Grammaticas has travelled to the border to meet North Koreans who have recently escaped.

    Much more plus video
    As North Korea holds an extremely rare party conference, those who have recently fled the country tell of a nation racked by hunger and starvation, reports the BBC's Damian Grammaticas.

  • #2
    Re: Tales of starvation and death in North Korea

    N. Korea's food shortages to worsen due largely to floods
    News Date: 8th September 2010

    North Korea's food shortages are expected to worsen this year due largely to floods that swamped tens of thousands of hectares of farmland earlier this summer, a South Korean expert said Wednesday.

    Kwon Tae-jin, a senior researcher at the Korea Rural Economic Institute, said in a telephone interview that he expects the North's grain harvest this year to be about 200,000 tons less than last year.

    The impoverished communist state produced 4.1 million tons of grain last year, according to estimates of the South's state-run Rural Development Administration. Kwon estimated heavy rains that pounded the North from mid-July to early this month led to the loss of 37,000 hectares of farmland, citing news reports from Pyongyang.

    "The direct damage from the flooding is expected to be 100,000 tons," he said, also blaming factors such as blight, low temperatures and a lack of fertilizer for the expected drop.

    North Korea normally tallies up its grain production from September to October with the help of international relief agencies. The country, which is believed to need at least 5.2 million tons of grain each year to feed its

    23 million people, has relied on international handouts since the mid-1990s when a massive famine, aggravated by natural disasters, swept the country.