sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Weather in North Korea

I don't want to file this Sunday Sermonette under the heading of "global warming, climate change, climate disruption or weather." As with all things, change is part of life. The weather is one of those things, and while man clearly has introduced cause and effect with pollution, the planetary weather patterns are something that has been ebbing and flowing (ice ages, etc) since the planet started spinning and developed an atmosphere. Even the Sun has weather (and it's the Sun and the stars are not impacted by my decision to BBQ in the back yard). 

Sometimes the weather explains human folly. California doesn't build dams to capture run-off for fear of disturbing the habitat of a few thousand three-inch long fish, or some other rodent that lives in the area that would be flooded. And then they howl when the population and demand placed by agriculture exceeds the water supply. 


It's not the weather, but our reaction to the weather points out stresses in the system. Nowhere is that more true and more evident than in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), the worker's paradise. 

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published details of what it described as the worst drought in North Korea in a century. Some unidentified “correspondents” wrote that this famine will not be as bad as that in 1994 to 1996 because of the so-called agricultural reforms that Kim Jong Un has allowed. Many news outlets have repeated this canard. Somehow allowing farmers and farming teams to keep more of the crop apparently is supposed to produce rain. North Korea grows wet crop rice and relies on monsoon rains. The provinces identified as the worst affected by the lack of rain are the primary rice producing provinces.

Context

The first time that communist North Korea ever requested outside food aid from the non-communist world was during the 1995/1996 famine and floods. The drought of that time was only the first setback. It was the prelude for sustained, torrential rains. The flooding washed away the topsoil in the rice producing provinces plus extensive grain stores.. North Korean media described that as the worst disaster in a century. The ensuing years were called the March of Hardship.

News reports today stated that hundreds of thousands of people died during the mid-1990s famine. Actually the population of North Korea did not increase for at least four years, and possibly 10 years, because of the numbers who died during the famine and flood. The government resorted to broadcasting recipes for making soup from edible tree bark and grass. North Korea executed hundreds of people for cannibalism. Credible sources estimate that more than three million people died from starvation.

Fat, incompetent little dictator, Kim Jong Un advises his
people: "let them eat cake"
North Korea can build missiles and nuclear weapons, but cannot find a way to feed its people in a global economy. The decades of agricultural mismanagement of North Korea by the Kim family could be considered a crime against humanity.

Leadership

Typically, the North will display exceptional sensitivity to real or perceived slights during a period of vulnerability in which it first invites and then requests food aid. Its leaders will tolerate starvation rather than allow themselves to be seen as weak and as incompetent. 

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Today is Father's Day in the USA and my 4 daughters, and 7 grandchildren will celebrating with me poolside in Southern California, in a land of prosperity and safety where the common people are armed to the teeth. They secure the Republic (if we still really have one) in a way that the North Korean people will never be able to do. 

I feel compassion for the poor, hungry, deluded people in North Korea with their bloody minded, fat little dictator, gorging himself while they starve. 

But I'm still going to BBQ aged porterhouse steaks and corn and eat a banquet while splashing in cool, clear, clean water with my grandchildren. I'm aware that the progressive left is virulently opposed to BBQ food...let them eat cake.

God bless America.