North Korea's Other Crisis: An Economy in Tatters

Published on 30 June 2009

I had the rare opportunity in 2002 to take a road trip through North Korea. I had been invited into the country by Pyongyang along with several other foreign correspondents, and even though we rode in a modern bus, the journey itself was like going back in time. (..) Thanks to bad floods in 2007, food shortages last year were likely the worst experienced since the 1990s. The World Food Program (WFP) says it has launched a program to feed 6.2 million people in North Korea, or more than a quarter of the population. Yet in March, North Korea, without explanation, rejected all food aid from the United States, its largest official donor, and kicked five aid groups distributing the food out of the country.

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