No Future for North Korea?

In an op-ed piece for Scripps Howard New Service, Amos A. Jordan and Jae H. Ku of the Center for Strategic & International Studies predict North Korea’s latest round of famine and economic disaster may bring down dictator Kim Jong Il. Jordan and Ku write,

Economic woes are so deep, starvation so prevalent and his [Kim Jong IL] policies to overcome the problem so disastrously inadequate that his ousting is increasingly probable.

According to Jordan and Ku, North Korea’s economy has declined for seven straight years and although adverse weather in 1995-7 partially accounts for the specifics of the current famine,

there is a persistent shortfall of up to two million tons of grain that is largely a result of structural inefficiencies, lack of incentives, and inadequacies of resource inputs.

Meanwhile John Yale of World Vision International is one of the few people from the West to get a first hand look at conditions in North Korea. In Associated Press report Yale described what he saw on a recent trip to North Korea,

We saw people scavenging for food in fields that had already been harvested, looking for left-over roots — children, older people, even men in uniform.

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