Published on February 6th, 2013 | by Justin Hankins, Staff Writer0
North Koreans turn to cannibalism
A quick YouTube search of the funerals of former North Korean leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il will lead you to footage of thousands of people mourning for the lives of their “heroes.” For generations citizens were, and are, brainwashed into believing they did all they could to build the perfect life for North Korean citizens.
This tale continues with the new Kim Jong-Un, despite the blatant disregard for the well-being of the nation and new reports being uncovered of North Koreans resorting to cannibalism in their fight for survival.
The malnourished nation has seen its fair share of agricultural troubles since the 1990s. They have continuously been hit by famines resulting in the malnourishment of millions, a staggering infant mortality rate and thousands dying each year.
The paranoid, strictly-controlled nation of North Korea has recently seen leaked reports of cannibalism spreading throughout the country in a desperate attempt for survival. One report describes a man who, while his wife was on a business trip, killed his two children and cooked their remains. Local citizens report he was later executed by a firing squad.
Reports of all shapes and sizes have been coming out of the woodwork. Stories are flying out of parents boiling their children’s bodies and in some cases even digging up corpses of recently buried family members.
Due to the country’s allowance of only one state-run media, this news has very meticulously worked its way out of North Korea. The news was released by AsiaPress, a news source based in Japan, who used hidden citizen reporters as the main source of their information for their North Korean magazine, Rimjin-gang.
The publication explains, “Based on unique sources that do not undergo censorship by the North Korean authorities, the team has been reporting on North Korea from an independent standpoint… Rimjin-gang is unique in that it is based solely on the reports and analysis made by North Korean journalists themselves.”
With North Korea’s tyrannical control of the media preventing more news of this hidden outbreak to be exposed, experts believe cannibalism is a very real problem spreading across the North and South Hwanghae provinces just outside the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. North Korea has yet to reply to the allegations and refuses to directly address the problem.
In February of last year, North Korea accepted a “food for nukes” deal with the United States in which the U.S. would give 240,000 metric tons of food if North Korea halted uranium enrichment and missile tests and allowed U.N. actors to monitor the nuclear sites in North Korea for the first time in 5 years. The U.S. was forced to halt food aid as a response to the bipolar North Korean government’s missile launch attempt (and failure) not two months after the agreed conditions.
These new reports come at an unfortunate time for the North Korean people. In this centralized communist economy, the majority of the gross domestic product ends up in the hands of a proliferating military power. The U.S. has pushed for more sanctions by Asian powers against the North Korean government in an attempt to cripple their economy.
Despite the honorable intentions, the strains the government will have to face will be shrugged off onto the backs of citizens in order to ensure that the military funding continues to consume most of the country’s financial resources. The government’s massive military spending has historically been more important than the well-being of its citizens.
The starvation of millions in the country is a direct result of poor government policies. North Korea invoked a system of mercantilism in the 1980s where they called upon farmers and other industries to provide for the state so the state could become self-sufficient and less dependent on other nations. This is a basic system of economics enacted before times of war.
Despite the horrible terrain and conditions, excruciating famines and massive floods which have led to millions starving to death in three decades, the government continues to build up a relatively unstable military at the expense of their constituents.
All this news caps off the mysteriously hidden and totalitarian regime North Korea has made a name for being. Brandon Kenig, Former U.S. Senate Staffer and member of the Kansas City International Relations Club, explains that North Korea is the “most backwards and isolated regime in the world. When the regime falls, we will learn much more about the atrocities that have been committed, similar to what we learned after the fall of Nazi Germany.”
As a human being, I understand that human life means more than borders, sovereignty, and the color of my skin. In international politics, specifically the U.N., sometimes the true meaning of our actual purpose gets lost. We do not come together as a people in order to advance one population over another and to promote our own self interests but instead, to better the quality of life for all or in this case, protect it. That goal has been forgotten in North Korea.
The international community at large can no longer ignore the desperate pleas from dying women and children who now, as sickening as it may sound, are sometimes resorting to eating each other. It is imperative that the United States and allies act and find some feasible way to provide humanitarian aid, while fending off what some believe to be a growing North Korean threat.
We cannot allow the people to suffer just because they, from no choice of their own, were born in a country we believe to be an unstable, militaristic and quite frankly, insane part of the world.