North Korea Today No. 122 May 2008 - Famine special
Dying of Starvation Yangduk, South Pyongan province
In the farming areas of the township of Yangduk , Yangduk County and the vicinity in South Pyongan Province , instances of people dying by starvation due to a shortage of food rations are appearing. Currently, there are many individuals who have been so weakened by the lack of food that they are unable to move their bodies, and one or two deaths are transpiring in each village due to starvation. The Yangduk County Party has stressed the fact that more deaths by starvation will take place if emergency food rations are not supplied, but has not been able to take actions beyond that. Officials in the County party and the farmsare doing nothing more than intensifying ideological education and saying, 'All of us are facing difficult times, so let's tighten our belts and solve this problem. Everyone report to work.' Farmer Han Kyung-duk (56) appealed, 'Please give us something to eat. If you do that, we will report to work even if you tell us not to. We need to eat something in order to have the strength to work.' Currently, the southern regions of the country, starting with South Pyongan Province, are all facing the same situation, and citizens are increasingly worrying amongst themselves that 'If the price of food continues to rise and the government continues to do nothing about the food situation, there will be many more people who will die within the month.'
Food Shortage Rapidly Spread in Spring
Map of the Areas Alerted with Food shortage
With the start of the spring season, the food shortage is increasing rapidly all across the nation. Areas in South Hwanghae Province; counties in Kaesong City, such as Kaepung and Changpung ; Kumchun in North Hwanghae Province, counties in South Pyongan Province, such as Mundok , Yangduk , Sinyang ; and counties in Kangwon Province such as Kosan , Kumgang in particular are suffering greatly from the food shortage. Areas that are farmlands are suffering more from the food shortage, and the number of families that are subsisting on only one meal a day is rapidly increasing. Most families only eat one or two meals a day, and there are many families that eat noodles, porridge, grass, or mountain greens that have been boiled with salt. There are also many families that eat such little maize porridge that they are basically rinsing out their mouths with the porridge water rather than eating a full meal. In some of these households, people become very thin and die in their homes without even knowing the name of the diseases they have.