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KEI Spotlight

Troy Stangarone and KEI Non-resident Fellow Robert King Cited by WSJ on Food Crisis in North Korea

May 16, 2019

In response to the North Korean state media's report of the worst drought in 40 years, KEI Senior Director Troy Stangarone and Non-resident Fellow Ambassador Robert King spoke with the Wall Street Journal on their observation of the issues. 

Ambassador King noted that Kim Jong-un has always sought food aid from the international community, but the regime's emphasis on the drought and how international pressure is amplifying its effects are likely an effort to get sanctions lifted. 

Backing this view, Troy Stangarone questioned how much worse the situation has become in North Korea. This stems from the recognition that the country does constantly struggle with food while simultaneously proving remarkably resilient through illicit trade and other black market activities. 

Read the WSJ article "North Korea Warns of Worst Drought in Decades, But Some Question Famine Fears" here