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[North Korean hunger]
North Korean women queueing at a government-run Public Distribution Centre in Chongjin, north Hamgyong province. THE United Nations is fast running out of food for six million hungry North Koreans because key donors haven't made any pledges for 2003, a senior UN relief official has said. AFP photo...

 

 

 

 


North Koreans starve in the last bastion of communism as the world watches in apathy

The North Koreans are starving as the world looks on in apathy.  The leaders of North Korea continue to support a military which can fire nuclear weapons but cannot field an army without starving the rest of the population.

I wonder what is like to live in a country where there is simply no food anywhere to eat.  A place where you have to watch yourself starve right along with your neighbors.  Imagine nothing to eat anywhere.

And the world looks on in apathy.  And the North Korean leaders do the same.  And all the time Americans are endangering their health with their obesity.  

John WorldPeace
November 19,  2002


N. Korean food aid 'running out'

November 19, 2002       news.com.au

THE United Nations is fast running out of food for six million hungry North Koreans because key donors haven't made any pledges for 2003, a senior UN relief official has said.

The lack of promises of aid were mainly due to Pyongyang's nuclear program and its lack of openness, said Masood Hyder, the UN resident humanitarian coordinator in North Korea.

North Koreans are expected to face another blow as winter approaches.

The US decision to suspend oil shipments to North Korea from December to punish Pyongyang for its secret program to develop a uranium-based bomb will almost certainly result in cutbacks in heating, lighting, and power supplies to schools, hospitals and factories, Hyder said.

He appealed to major food donors, especially the three largest - the United States, Japan, and South Korea - to be guided by humanitarian principles, not political concerns.


From eating rats in North Korea to sex abuse in China
 
Mike Jendrzejczyk International Herald Tribune
Tuesday, November 19, 2002
A refugee travesty
 
WASHINGTON The head of the United Nations food program was in Beijing last week, pleading for China's help to prevent more death and famine in North Korea. Facing a funding deficit, the world body has suspended humanitarian assistance to 3 million North Koreans in the western part of the country. More aid cuts may come.
.
Emergency shipments of Chinese grain could ease the crisis. But to stabilize the situation on its border, China must also address the rights of thousands of North Koreans who have fled into China.
.
In a new report to be released on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch has documented the refugee crisis and its human toll. A former detainee in a North Korean logging camp described how prisoners survived, catching rats using shoes as traps, then roasting and eating them secretly.
.
The embarrassing rush of North Koreans into diplomatic compounds in China beginning last March provoked the Chinese authorities to tighten border security, to search for North Koreans in hiding and to go after those suspected of helping them.
.
Hiding in villages among Chinese citizens of Korean descent, North Korean asylum seekers are victimized twice. Once they make it into China, they are highly vulnerable to abuse, extortion and exploitation. Desperate women sell sexual services through prostitution or arranged marriage. Or they are sold or abducted into sexual slavery. Some are beaten by violent Chinese husbands after seeking shelter with church groups who tell them marriage is the only way to avoid detection.
.
At any moment, North Koreans risk being picked up by Chinese authorities and returned to North Korea under the terms of a secret 1986 agreement between Beijing and Pyongyang. Yet under the UN Refugee Convention, to which it is a party, China is obligated not to push back asylum seekers in danger of persecution. In North Korea, anyone leaving the country without authorization is subject to three years in a labor camp, or even the death penalty.
.
A comprehensive strategy is needed to address the human rights disaster in North Korea and the impact on neighboring countries. North Koreans are entitled to leave their homeland under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pyongyang must immediately cease punishing those who flee and also stop persecuting their family members.
.
China should halt the forcible return of North Koreans, and begin a high-level dialogue with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to establish a screening mechanism for asylum seekers.
.
Countries that hold bilateral talks with China including the United States, Japan, the United Kingdomand Australia should raise this issue with Beijing. As an interim step, Beijing should be urged to grant all North Koreans an indefinite humanitarian status and allow aid groups to operate in border areas without intimidation or arrest.
.
Addressing the refugee crisis must be part of a broader strategy to bring North Korea out of its isolation. Giving humanitarian aid is one answer. Exposing North Korea's human rights violations, now largely hidden, should also be a priority.
.
The writer, Washington director for Asia at Human Rights Watch, contributed this comment to the International Herald Tribune.

< < Back to Start of Article
A refugee travesty
 
WASHINGTON The head of the United Nations food program was in Beijing last week, pleading for China's help to prevent more death and famine in North Korea. Facing a funding deficit, the world body has suspended humanitarian assistance to 3 million North Koreans in the western part of the country. More aid cuts may come.
.
Emergency shipments of Chinese grain could ease the crisis. But to stabilize the situation on its border, China must also address the rights of thousands of North Koreans who have fled into China.
.
In a new report to be released on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch has documented the refugee crisis and its human toll. A former detainee in a North Korean logging camp described how prisoners survived, catching rats using shoes as traps, then roasting and eating them secretly.
.
The embarrassing rush of North Koreans into diplomatic compounds in China beginning last March provoked the Chinese authorities to tighten border security, to search for North Koreans in hiding and to go after those suspected of helping them.
.
Hiding in villages among Chinese citizens of Korean descent, North Korean asylum seekers are victimized twice. Once they make it into China, they are highly vulnerable to abuse, extortion and exploitation. Desperate women sell sexual services through prostitution or arranged marriage. Or they are sold or abducted into sexual slavery. Some are beaten by violent Chinese husbands after seeking shelter with church groups who tell them marriage is the only way to avoid detection.
.
At any moment, North Koreans risk being picked up by Chinese authorities and returned to North Korea under the terms of a secret 1986 agreement between Beijing and Pyongyang. Yet under the UN Refugee Convention, to which it is a party, China is obligated not to push back asylum seekers in danger of persecution. In North Korea, anyone leaving the country without authorization is subject to three years in a labor camp, or even the death penalty.
.
A comprehensive strategy is needed to address the human rights disaster in North Korea and the impact on neighboring countries. North Koreans are entitled to leave their homeland under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pyongyang must immediately cease punishing those who flee and also stop persecuting their family members.
.
China should halt the forcible return of North Koreans, and begin a high-level dialogue with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to establish a screening mechanism for asylum seekers.
.
Countries that hold bilateral talks with China including the United States, Japan, the United Kingdomand Australia should raise this issue with Beijing. As an interim step, Beijing should be urged to grant all North Koreans an indefinite humanitarian status and allow aid groups to operate in border areas without intimidation or arrest.
.
Addressing the refugee crisis must be part of a broader strategy to bring North Korea out of its isolation. Giving humanitarian aid is one answer. Exposing North Korea's human rights violations, now largely hidden, should also be a priority.
.
The writer, Washington director for Asia at Human Rights Watch, contributed this comment to the International Herald Tribune.

 


How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?


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