09/15/2011, 00.00
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WFP Video: Desperate and dying of hunger - Pyongyang

by Joseph Yun Li-sun
The World Food Programme has just released a video revealing the critical food shortage in North Korea. A local sources tells AsiaNews: “This is nothing new for those who work in the field, but to allow such an undertaking Pyongyang must be really desperate ”.
Seoul (AsiaNews) – The video, shown yesterday by WFP, “ shows nothing new to those who, sadly, are all too familiar with the situation in North Korea DPRK. But it is a new and most important signal: Pyongyang is now willing to open its borders to food aid, and even to allow international organisations to film and show a video. They must be really desperate”.

AsiaNews was told this by a South Korean source who takes semi regular trips transporting humanitarian aid and medicines over the border into North Korea. The video in question was released yesterday on the WFP web site and can be seen here. The video, filmed in the DPRK by Jonathan Dumont WFP’s Head of TV Communications, reveals the faces of the famine which has hit the regime.

Floods and starvation have plunged the people of North Korea among the world's poorest. The government, for its part, uses any money it manages to make to finance its military and the insane expenses of the ruling oligarchy, headed by Kim Jong-il and his third son and heir, Kim Jong-un. Following episodes of military and nuclear provocation in the last two years, loans to the country from the international community were cut.

Still today, the source told AsiaNews, “only a few local protestant Churches and, occasionally, the local Catholic charity CARITAS South Korea, are given permission by the Seoul government to transport humanitarian aid over the border to N. Korea. Unfortunately that regime has exaggerated, and the South has no desire to appear feeble in the eyes of the West. From the video it is clear that the situation is desperate. We hope and we pray for a change in that Communist leadership: only a change can save the people in the North ”.

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