Famine in North Korea Redux?
In the 1990s, 600,000 to 1 million North Koreans, or about 3-5 percent of the pre-crisis population perished in one of the worst famines of the 20th century. North Korea is once again poised on the brink of famine. Although the renewed provision of aid is likely to avert a disaster on the scale of the 1990s, hunger-related deaths are already occurring and a dynamic has been set in motion that will carry the crisis into the future. North Korea is a complex humanitarian emergency characterized by highly imperfect information. This paper triangulates quantity and price evidence with direct observation to assess food insecurity in North Korea and its causes. We critique the widely cited UN figures and present original data on grain quantities and prices. These data demonstrate that for the first time since the 1990s famine, the aggregate grain balance has gone into deficit. Prices have also risen steeply. The reemergence of pathologies from the famine era is documented through direct observation. Although exogenous shocks have played a role, foreign and domestic policy choices have been key.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Marcus Noland, 2004.
"Famine and Reform in North Korea,"
Asian Economic Papers,
MIT Press, vol. 3(2), pages 1-40.
- Marcus Noland, 2003. "Famine and Reform in North Korea," Working Paper Series WP03-5, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- Kim, Woon Keun & Lee, Hyunok & Sumner, Daniel A, 1998. "Assessing the Food Situation in North Korea," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(3), pages 519-535, April.
- Stephan Haggard & Marcus Noland & Erik Weeks, 2008. "North Korea on the Precipice of Famine," Policy Briefs PB08-6, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- Noland, Marcus & Robinson, Sherman & Wang, Tao, 2001. "Famine in North Korea: Causes and Cures," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(4), pages 741-767, July.
- Marcus Noland & Sherman Robinson & Tao Wang, 1999. "Famine in North Korea: Causes and Cures," Working Paper Series WP99-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- Marcus Noland, 2000. "Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 94, November.
- Marcus Noland, 2004. "Korea after Kim Jong-il," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa71.