Arriving in Seoul, South Korea from Pyongyang, North Korea, Jimmy Carter sharply criticised Barack Obama and Lee Myung bak from denying North Korea much need food supplies, political issues notwithstanding.
Carter appeal for food supplies fell on deaf ears. For the last two years, the US and South Korea have cut off any humanitarian aid to the North. The two countries hide behind the bureaucratic excuse that Kim Jong il’s government will not give the right to take control of food distribution.
North Korea has been hit by a string of natural disasters: heavy rains and a long, cold winter which have wiped out more than four fifths of its crops. Its people’s are suffering and on the razor edge of starvation. So, Mother Nature has given North Korea a double whammy, to say the least.
Earlier GuamDiary noted that Pyongyang’s call for food fell on the wayside of the world’s conscience. A concerted refusal came from the US, South Korea, Australia, and the European Union. As a result, the North appealed to private donors. Here the rub is that these voluntary organisations receive food from the very countries refusing to help the people of North Korea stave off starvation and early death.
Nonetheless, the US’ cover has been blown on ‘PBS News Hour’. GuamDiary reproduces its entry from March 2011.
Food for the starving North Koreans?
GuamDiary has commented on the deaf response by the US, EU, South Korea, and Australia to North Korea’s appeal for food aid. Mother Nature has been unusually cruel towards North Korea: floods and long months of freezing temperatures which have wiped out 80 per cent of winter wheat crops.
In fact, the US and South Korea have not give a gram of food for the last two years. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why: the two allies have a common goal to ‘roll back’ Kim Jong il & co. until they fall from power.
An observation: the US, for example, cries crocodile tears when it comes to saving civilians from wars and famine and earthquakes. Of course, the support is selective; North Korea may receive sighs of ‘too bad’, ‘a tragedy’ and the like, but behind this moralism is the mean thought that the North Koreans should rise up as one and throw out of the rascals. And so hypocrisy of concerrn and ‘treat your neighbour as he would treat you’ stays the rich hands from dipping into surplus food supplies. Dante would surely assign such men and women to the eight circle of Hell!
Webstreaming today, GuamDiary saw the unflappable Margaret Warner ‘speaking’ with David Austin of Mercy Corps who has recently returned from a visit to the most exposed provinces in North Korea where the people are starving.
Warner raised the old red herring of how can you trust Kim Jong il & co. and make sure the food goes to the people it is intended for, as her finely manicured nails beat a tattoo on her desk on a big gem on her fourth left finger–a picture of controlled indignation if not disgust.
Austin spoke plainly. He informed Warner and the PBS ‘News Hour’ audience that the North Koreans were forthright; they allowed Mercy Corps to go wherever they wanted, to visit empty graneries, homes, hospitals, schools, etc. Since North Korea’s appeal for food fell on deaf ears, Pyongyang turned to private agencies. We learn that until two years ago when the food dried up, the North Korea had respected a protocol it signed with Mercy Corps, meaning Mercy Corps controled and monitored food distribution from the port to the people the food was meant for, without interference. Still, Warner did not seem convinced.
Mercy Corps has broached the White House for the food, but as Austin put it, the Obama administration is discussing it. In other words, there is no action yet and may not very well be.
So is there food, funneled through the private sector to starving North Koreans? we cannot say for sure. And doubting Thomases that we are, we think the Obama regime won’t lift a little finger.
It is always interesting to observe that practising Christians like Barack Obama and the evangelical Lee Myung bak remain impervious to the basic notion of Charity when it comes to North Korea. On the other hand, Jimmy Carter does take his Christianity seriously, and therefore appeals to tight fisted US and ROK to send much need food.
Carter is not blind to that fact of the serious divide politically between the North and the South and the US. He has always laboured in the fields of peace and understanding, and worked and works for a political denouement of outstanding differences, especially when it comes to North Korea.
Carter also brought a message from North Korea that it is willing to resume six party talks in Beijing, as well as to open the agenda to other matters.Yet, Obama and Lee have coordinated a policy the goal of which is to not only humble Kim Jong il, but plan for his overthrowal. Washington’s and Seoul’s stubborness will earn them little, but making open sores fester the more.
They are clever by half. And what’s more their intelligence on the North is incomplete and spotty if not shoddy since it reflects a monkey chasing its own tail.