[KS] North Korea Food Aid Is Not a Political Tool, The New York Times Editorial, April 29, 2011
aoverl at yahoo.co.uk
Sat Apr 30 12:10:19 EDT 2011
Dear Dr. Yoo,
thanks a lot for posting this article! I agree with the point that food aid should not be a political tool, but unfortunately it has invariably been used (and abused) for diplomatic and strategic purposes. In my personal opinion, one particularly negative aspect of this practice was that a far stronger linkage was created between the availability of aid and North Korea's proliferation/non-proliferation performance than between aid and North Korea's economic reform process. If one assumes that a relatively successful reform process might reduce Pyongyang's aid dependency and thus make the leadership less interested in extorting aid through nuclear blackmail and/or obtaining hard currency through arms exports and criminal financial activities, a logical conclusion would be to use aid to reward the DPRK if it implements reforms but deny (or reduce) aid if it does not. Significantly, neither China nor Vietnam had access to substantial aid from Western
and Japanese sources before they started to introduce radical reforms.
Unfortunately, the political and military context of the aid largely broke the potential links between aid and reform. A few months after the July 2002 reforms, U.S. aid ceased because of the nuclear enrichment issue, and later Japan also reduced its imports from the DPRK for the same reason. In 2007-2008, North Korea made some nuclear concessions, but at the same time introduced "counter-reforms," and cracked down on private entrepreneurs. It seems that the North Korean leaders do not really want to simultaneously implement reforms and make nuclear concessions. For understandable reasons, South Korea and the U.S. attributes more importance to the nuclear issue than to economic reforms, but if there are no effective reforms, the periodical nuclear crises are more likely to recur than if there are.
--- On Sat, 30/4/11, Kwang On Yoo <lovehankook at gmail.com> wrote:
I like to share this New York times Opinion with KS.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Koreanstudies