Share This Page

Fourth of North Korean children malnourished, U.N. reports

| Friday, March 15, 2013, 5:45 p.m.

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations reminded the world on Friday that malnutrition remains prevalent in North Korea, where the Kim regime has repressed its people for half a century.

Slightly more than a fourth of all North Korean children are stunted from chronic malnutrition, and two-thirds of the country's 24 million people don't know where their next meal will come from, the U.N. report said.

The report illustrates a major domestic challenge for North Korea's young leader, Kim Jong Un.

A team from the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reporting from North Korea, found that 2.8 million North Koreans “are in need of regular food assistance amidst worrying levels of chronic malnutrition and food insecurity.” It said 4 percent of North Korean children are acutely malnourished.

The OCHA team found that much of North Korea's support structure is crumbling under the third generation of Kim family rule.

“Supplies of medicine and equipment are inadequate; water and heating systems need repair, and the infrastructure of schools and colleges is deteriorating rapidly,” the report said.

The report said humanitarian aid should be neutral and impartial “and must not be contingent on political developments.”

Aid agencies have estimated that as many as 2 million people have died since the mid-1990s because of acute food shortages caused by natural disasters and economic mismanagement. The country relies on foreign aid to feed millions of its people.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.