War With North Korea: Food Shortages At Root Of the Conflict

Imagine going days, weeks, months, DECADES constantly starving.

This horrible reality is experienced by many North Koreans, who have lived in a constant state of famine for decades. While recently, North Korea has made international headlines for provoking war and violence in the region, many forget the true cause of all this anger: hunger.

For decades, North Koreans have suffered from chronic food shortages. These shortages have been caused by droughts, bad weather, and sometimes ineffective leadership. However, recently, some inside the North Korean government have stated that the situation has improved. With Kim Jung-un’s new incentive-based system, internal reports state heightened motivation and output. Yet, this information comes off as extremely suspect when considering the source. The only people that feel that the situation is improving seem to be those that are part of the North Korean government.

In reality, the situation has not improved and the rest of the world is suffering the consequences via unwarranted provocations. The United Nations reported that North Korea is currently experiencing a 207,000 ton food shortage. This gap has created distress, worry, and often times insanity on behalf of many civilians in the “h”angry state. Five North Korean defectors spoke about this degeneration from their new home in China.

These defectors described the situation in North Korea as degenerating. They state that although the incentive-based system has increased output and food markets are visibly more full, these markets are not available to everyone. The state rations are not being distributed and even soldiers are serving while experiencing hunger and malnutrition. According to a report, 1 in 5 kids is stunted in growth due to this horrible famine.  Some reports even state that the famine has gotten so bad that parents are resorting to cannibalism and adding their children to their daily diets. This insane and inhumane behavior is caused by extreme, long lasting, and progressive malnutrition. North Koreans must endure this lifetime of starvation while watching their leaders and dignitaries indulging themselves in lavish feasts and luxurious items. One of these defectors, Mrs. Kim, reflects on her time in North Korea describing every day as a struggle; stating that every morning she woke up worried about what she would eat that day. Moreover, she was unaware of this shortage while inside the country, only becoming aware after fleeing. It is this ignorance that causes the anger amongst hypnotized North Koreans.

Before falling victim to the argument that North Koreans despise the West and want to initiate global war, one must look at their real craving. North Korean’s are craving food, as simple and generic as that might sound. They have constantly exhibited this craving in the past, passing up nuclear escalation for foreign aid countless times.

Therefore, in handling the escalating situation on the Korean Peninsula, we should enter the match with more than just missiles and fighter jets. We should enter the conflict with burgers and fries, pizza and pasta, rice and fish. These “weapons” will win over the Koreans and force them to surrender; much faster than any military operation would. 

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Shimon Moshehai

Shimon is a recent college graduate with a bachelors degree in Political Science from UCLA. His research interests are Middle East Politics, Religion, and International Relations.

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