north korea monitor


Hotspot Micro-Report



North Koreans have faced food
shortages since 1994, when Kim Jong Il’s government officially limited food
consumption to one-quarter of the basic requirement per person.  The North
Korean government’s hoarding of relief supplies in 1994 for party members and
the military exacerbated famine conditions in areas that were deemed disloyal
or unessential to the government.  Outside sources estimate that at least
two million North Koreans have fallen victim to famine in 1994, dying from
starvation, malnutrition and related diseases.  At a UNICEF conference in
Beijing on May 15, 2001, DPRK foreign minister Choes Su-hon officially reported
that 220,000 people had died of starvation alone from 1995 to 1998.  The
established causes of the food shortage are threefold: (1) a series of natural
disasters, including flooding, drought and massive tidal waves; (2) state-run
economic mismanagement; and (3) loss of preferential trade with the Soviet
Union and, to a lesser extent, China. Because of the difficulty of obtaining
information from sources in North Korea, monitoring the country’s human rights
violations proves problematic.


Evidence of Abuse and Danger
  • Exacerbated famine (CNN, BBC, etc.)

  • Killing of babies (Telegraph News)

  • Public
    executions (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Torture (Amnesty International)

Field Contacts Verification
  1. International Press/Media

  2. The UN agencies

  3. International Human Rights NGOs

  4. International Relief NGOs

International Contacts:

UN High Commission for Refugees

Office for Coordination Human Affairs

UN Secretary-General’s Office

UN Security Council

UN Ambassadors

UN Development Programme

UN Children’s Fund

UN World Food Programme

US Contacts:

State Department

State emergency task force

US Agency for International Development

Congress and Senate

Sub-committee and caucus-committee for human rights US embassy in Beijing

Foreign Ministries:

of the Republic of South Korea

Embassy of Japan

Embassy of China

Embassy of Sweden

Embassy of Norway

Embassy of Finland

Embassy of the European Union

Embassy of the United Kingdom

Embassy of Canada

Embassy of Russia

Embassy of India

Embassy of Pakistan



Washington Post

Washington Times

New York Times

L.A. Times

Chicago Tribune


Associated Press

United Press International




International Crisis Group

Int. Committee for Red Cross

Medicins Sans Frontieres

Oxfam America

International Center (DC)

Amnesty International

Human Rights Watch

American Friends Service Committee

Nautilus Institute

Caritas Internationalis

European Community Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO)


World Vision International



Latest News Links

The Straits Times

July 20, 2003

“Chef dishes out the dirt on Kim”,4386,200575,00.html

July 20, 2003

“The Plight Of North Korea”

Relief Web

July 18, 2003

“WFP Emergency Report No. 29 of 2003 (See the DPR Korea part)”

Relief Web

July 17, 2003

“Children of North Korea bear the brunt of political tensions” 


July 4, 2003

“Defector asks, ‘Step up pressure’-Says North was deterred by U.S. force”


June 28, 2003

“U.N. claims North Korea not starving”

The Star Online

June 27, 2003

“UN food programme says work in North Korea challenging”

Relief Web

June 24, 2003

“UNICEF Humanitarian Action: DPR Korea Donor Update 24 Jun 2003” 


June 23, 2003

“Gulag Nation-Unseen by the outside world, North Korea runs vast prison camps
of unspeakable cruelty”

June 23, 2003

“North Korean Refugees Face Hardships Making New Life in South”

Relief Web

June 22, 2003

“Seoul earmarks $140 mil. for aid to N. Korea” 

Associated Press

June 18, 2003

“Shadow market economy thrives in anti-capitalist North Korea”

June 16, 2003

“N. Korean Refugee Problem Remains Serious”

June 16, 2003

“UNHCR says China may now be less tough on N.Koreans”

Relief Web

June 13, 2003

“WFP Emergency Report No. 24 of 2003 (See the DPR Korea part)”|

June 13, 2003

“North Korea food shortages seen getting worse”

June 8, 2003

Famine-struck N Koreans ‘eating children’

The United States Agency for
International Development

June 5, 2003

Testimony of Andrew S. Natsios, Administrator, USAID


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