This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 4, 2012 1:43 PM. The previous post in this blog was Denmark's got nothing on Portlandia. The next post in this blog is 21st Century nightmare. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Too cozy with Kim?

The tighty-righty Weekly Standard takes a swipe at Mercy Corps' food aid program to North Korea, here. The Portland-based international relief charity is criticized for empowering that country's oppressive regime. It's an interesting dilemma: Let everybody starve, or just the people that Kim doesn't like?

Comments (8)

A dilemma indeed. It seems that little aid is actually reaching the people who need it most. So, any help for the starving and sick may be negligible. The question becomes will extending an olive branch to such a regime have a net positive effect, and soften them up a bit? My instinct tells me no.

Fascinating and thought provoking. I expected the signal-to-noise ratio to be low on this, but after reading the article I agree -- there is a legitimate question there, especially when Doctors Without Borders pulled out of the country 15 years ago for the same reason. Thanks for this link. I'm curious to see where this goes.

Wow! The Weekly Standard! If anyone wants to read more about North Korea - I can't recommend the book Escape from Camp 14 highly enough.

Aid is misused and stolen, and sanctions only hurt the population. It's an old story.

Another recommendation for Escape from Camp 14. Sending aid to NK only helps the regime. Not one grain goes to anyone other than those favored by the leaders. Read it!

I think the term everyone is looking for is "useful idiots".

"Mercy Corps workers are not involved in the distribution. Instead, they are allowed periodic visits to the country to monitor the dispersal and use of the donated goods. But the itinerary is set long before the workers arrive in the country, with no deviations allowed. What’s more, the Mercy Corps workers are chaperoned by members of the North Korean foreign ministry and other officials the entire time they are in the country."

Enablers is another good term.

But if you wanted to mandate recycling, bicycle travel, central planning, etc., isn't NK the perfect government?

Another plug here for Escape from Camp 14. Mind blowing.

Doctors Without Borders is engaging again in North Korea, see http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/a-view-of-hunger-in-north-korea/. The conditions for humanitarian organizations to work in the DPRK has improved since 2001, although the situation is still far from ideal. I don't work with Mercy Corps but I know from personal experience that they do a much better job at working in North Korea than what was represented (or completely misrepresented) in the Weekly Standard's poorly researched article. You can see a more complete picture of Mercy Corps' work here: http://iamkoream.com/september-issue-a-case-for-humanitarian-aid-to-north-korea/

Clicky Web Analytics