Kim Summits While North Korea Starves

Kim Summits While North Korea Starves

Kim Summits While North Korea Starves

There will be a lot of cameras at the United States and North Korea summit next week in Vietnam. But will it produce anything but a photo-op for Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump?

Obviously, we should be hoping for some permanent moves forward in the denuclearization of North Korea. However, we all know that Kim Jong Un won’t give up his nukes without incentive. Is that why he’s cutting food rations for his people?

Reuters reports that the country revealed the information to the United Nations in a two-page memo, although the document is not dated. However, the information comes a week before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam. The summit will be the second between the two nations.

According to Reuters, the memo says that the country produced 503,000 tons less of food in 2018 as compared to 2017. The country estimates that its food shortage will equal 1.4 million tons in 2019.

NBC News reports that Kim Song, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, wrote the memo. Song said the combination of high temperatures, drought and typhoons, as well as sanctions against the country are to blame for the shortage.

The memo, issued from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea’s official name, urges the United Nations to provide assistance.

“The DPRK government calls on international organizations to urgently respond to addressing the food situation,” the memo says.

North Korea plans to import 200,000 pounds of food and grow roughly 400,000 pounds of crops, but a gap still remains in supplying food for the country. Because of the gap, North Korea said in the memo that it planned to reduce food rations by 10.5 ounces for a “family of blue or white collar workers,” going from 1.2 pounds (550 grams) of food per day to 0.66 pounds (300 grams) per day. The ration reductions were scheduled to begin in January, according to Reuters.

Coventional wisdom and experts are probably speculating correctly that Kim wishes to use this very public knowledge of food rationing as a way to get sanctions lifted against North Korea. However, Kim hasn’t held up his end of the bargain in regards to the repatriation of American remains from the Korean War. 55 sets of remains were returned to the United States last August, but nothing has happened since. With the summit in Vietnam happening, this has apparently spurred the North Koreans into saying “hey, let’s get some dates on the calendar, huh?”

Yeah, and hand back the USS Pueblo while you’re at it, please.

It is undoubtedly a good thing to have North Korea talking, even if it means we have to put up with the insane flattery of Kim Jong Un’s enormous ego. But it’s NOT good if we don’t get what we want out of it. President Trump had better put the screws to the deal and remind Kim that he had better hold up his end of the agreement, not forgetting that this is the same country that brutally tortured Otto Warmbier, and is now cutting their own people’s food rations as a bargaining chip.

Featured image: Pyongyang, North Korea, Kim Il Sun Square, via Pixabay (Pixabay license)

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