The probability of another government-induced and natural disaster famine in North Korea that took as many as two million or more lives in in a population of only about 20 million in the early 90s is now being predicted by the few observers permitted in the gulag country by the Pyongyang regime. Former Pres. Jimmy Carter who proves that longevity may sometimes be a vice reported at least a third of the children were suffering from malnutrition. That has not been a secret with South Korean children, many of them from families of Northern origin in the exchanges during the Korean War, tower over their kinsmen by as much as a foot by adolescence.
Ccarter has called for a lifting of the embargoes on food shipments by the U.S., the South Koreans, and the Japanese. Were he only to put as much energy in fostering — a fat chance — a system of supervision in the ultra-Stalinist state to see that relief food shipments did not simply go to North Korea’s 1.2 million under arms and its massive diversion of resources to attempting to produce weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear.
But talk of famine reminds one of a recent ridiculous — if as esoteric as many of the letters exchanges in the TLS tend to be — argument over one of the recent books on the so-called secret Chinese famines during the Great Leap Forward of 1958-61.
Mao’s fantasy economic policies led to the death of at least 50 million people. But the TLS exchange is by the self-promoting author
and a critic who has charged he has not consulted the proper Chinese Communist repeat Chinese Communist sources.
In the first place, of course, the whole concept of the famine being secret is in the eye of the beholder, in this case poor scholarship [and that is giving them the benefit of the doubt]. As a Hong Kong friend says, “Yes, secret, except to three and a half million Chinese in Hong Kong trying desperately to get food-parcels to their starving relatives on The Mainland”.
What is even more ridiculous about Dikotter and his “critics” is the complete ignoring of the fact that a small but determined band of China hands were at the time giving full vent to catastrophe. Father Ladeslaw Ladony, SJ, the editor and publisher of the unique China News Analysis, Miriam and Ivan London
Prof. Richard “Dixie” Walker
and a few others. [Dikotter has the temerity not to even list them in his bibliography.] If their voices were not heard, it was because virtually the entire Academy band of Chinese “scholars”, with their Maoist predilections, led by John K. Fairbank of Harvard, were simply ignoring anything that did not fit their anti-anti-Communist religion. Most of the Maoistas who are still alive — some even heading prestigious institutions such as The Asia Society — have still not have their “Kronstadt” and repented publicly.
All of this to ask whether an oncoming North Korean famine will be reported in the MSM contemporaneously and in proportion to its calamity. Don’t count on it!