A new report from the United Nations office in North Korea found that while roughly 43 percent of the population is not properly nourished, humanitarian organizations in the country lack funding to reach people who need food and water aid, which includes local infrastructure investment. The report follows a plea from Pyongyang for aid.
The Wednesday plea by Tapan Mishra, the UN’s resident coordinator in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), was not the first made on behalf of undernourished people in the small, mountainous socialist country wedged between Russia, China and South Korea. Mishra noted that an estimated 11 million people, or 43 percent of the country’s population, do not receive proper daily nutrition, and he made a desperate plea for additional aid.
These harsh restrictions can strangle the country’s access to “legal” resources in other ways, too. For example, a paper published last December by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey looked at scientific projects in which North Korean scientists had partnered with scholars from other countries, noting that roughly 100 of the 1,300 they examined had “identifiable significance for dual-use technology, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or other military purposes.”