Even in "good times" socialist North Korea hardly has enough food to feed it's people. As Americans can find an abundance of food just a drive away, North Koreans struggle to even find any food at all. Some would say that North Korea is in a constant state of famine. Even with the fact that food is generally scarce, it can always get worse. In April 2021, Kim Jung-un issued a statement warning citizens of a famine comparable to that of the 1990s which killed roughly 3 million people.
"I made up my mind to ask the WPK organizations at all levels, including its Central Committee and the cell secretaries of the entire party, to wage another more difficult 'Arduous March' in order to relieve our people of the difficulty, even a little," Kim said on Thursday, April 8th. The "Arduous March" (March of Suffering) was a period of mass starvation from 1994 to 1998 in North Korea. He even went as far as to call it the "worst-ever situation."
Like most socialist regimes, the party title "Workers Party of Korea" is quite ironic as there is little to no work available. Since Kim Il-sung established the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea in 1945 (again ironic as there is no democracy or republic) the government has controlled all aspects of society from agriculture, manufacturing, media and even art.
In 2020 Supreme Leader Kin Jong Un ordered dogs, both pets and wild, to be confiscated by the government for food consumption. He even went as far as to condemn pet ownership as decadence, meaning a moral or cultural decline as characterized by excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury.
While this pain and suffering is taking place, North Korea is boasting the completion of a new 3,000 ton submarine. Meanwhile, the citizens of mostly capitalist South Korea are struggling to decide if they want chicken, beef or steak for dinner. Also, Kim does not look like he's missed a meal.
Some say that North Korea struggles as they've never recovered from the famines in the 90s. Well the reason for the 90s famine and ongoing food struggle is because they haven't stopped the centralized government control of food. Under capitalism or even mixed economies, the food production and distribution is done by private citizens and companies. Yes, the for-profit model that so many are so quick to condemn is the historically proven method for providing an abundance of food for an entire population. Until North Korea abandons socialism and opens its economy, the people are doomed to suffer and starve.
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