한국정치 노트 Notes on the Politics of Korea

한국에서 진보적 시민들과 그 정치 단체가 가장 관심있게 바라봐야 하는 것은 '북한 내부 불평등과 삶의 질의 제고'이다. 서독 베씨, 동독 오씨가 통독이후에도 지금까지 남아 있다. 아마 남쪽 북쪽도 그런 유사한 경험을 할 것이다. 다만 지금부터 이 북측 내부 불평등, 특히 평양과 평양 바깥의 격차를 어떻게 줄일 것인가에 대한 대안들과 실천들이 필요하다. 


하노이에서 돌아간 김정은 정부의 제 1차적인 과제는 '민생'이고, 영양부족으로 고통받는 주민들, 특히 어린이들과 학생들 노인들이 충분한 영양공급을 받게 만들어야 한다. 한국 역시 인도주의적 차원에서, 북측 유아들, 유치원생들, 초,중,고 학생들에게 식량을 지원해야 한다.


2018년 여름부터 국내외로 쏟아져 나온 뉴스들이기에 새로울 것은 없다. 하지만 북녘 사람들, 평양이 아닌 북동쪽 지역 사람들은 지금도 생존과 싸우고 있다. 


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2018년 북한을 강타한 땡볕 더위와 홍수로 인해, 쌀 생산이 12~14% 감소, 북한 인구의 43%에 해당하는 1천 90만 인구가 지금 영양 부족과 질병 위협에 노출되어 있다.

2018년 태풍과 홍수로 인해 여의도 면적 340배에 해당하는 북한 경작지가 피해를 입었다.

산악지형 때문에 북한 전체 면적의 20%만 경작지이고, 농업 기술의 미발달로 인해 곡물 생산량이 낮다.

UN 원조가 도울 수 있는 인구는 1천 90만 중에 380만명, 나머지 인구는 지금 영양 공급 부족 상태에 놓여있다.

140만톤 식량이 더 필요하다.


North Korea is under several sets of sanctions over its weapons programmes and has long struggled to feed itself

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North Korea recorded its worst harvest for more than a decade last year, the United Nations said Wednesday, as natural disasters combined with its lack of arable land and inefficient agriculture to hit production.


The isolated North, which is under several sets of sanctions over its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes, has long struggled to feed itself and suffers chronic food shortages.


But last year's harvest was just 4.95 million tonnes, the United Nations said in its Needs and Priorities assessment for 2019, down by 500,000 tonnes.


It was "the lowest production in more than a decade", the UN's Resident Coordinator in the North Tapan Mishra said in a statement.


"This has resulted in a significant food gap."


As a result 10.9 million people in the North needed humanitarian assistance -- 600,000 more than last year -- with a potential for increased malnutrition and illness.


It is equivalent to 43 percent of the population.


But while the number of people needing help rose, the UN has had to cut its target for people to help -- from 6.0 million to 3.8 million -- as it seeks to prioritise those most in need.


Funding has fallen far short of what the UN says it needs.


Only 24 percent of last year's appeal was met, with Mishra describing it as "one of the lowest funded humanitarian plans in the world".


Several agencies had been forced to scale back their programmes and some faced closing projects, he said, appealing to donors to "not let political considerations get in the way of addressing humanitarian need".


"The human cost of our inability to respond is unmeasurable," he said, adding that sanctions had created unintended delays and challenges to humanitarian programmes, even though they are exempt under UN Security Council resolutions.


- Arduous March -


The impoverished North has been frequently condemned by the international community for decades of prioritising the military and its nuclear weapons programme over adequately providing for its people -- an imbalance some critics say the UN's aid programme encourages.


Ahead of his Hanoi summit with leader Kim Jong Un last week, US President Donald Trump repeatedly dangled the prospect of the North becoming an economic powerhouse if it gave up its arsenal, but the two were unable to reach a deal.


The Center for Strategic and International Studies said -- based on its analysis of satellite imagery -- activity is "evident" at a North Korean long-range rocket test site, suggesting Pyongyang may be pursuing its "rapid rebuilding" after the failed summit.


The country industrialised rapidly following the end of the Korean War and for a time was wealthier than the South. Funding from Moscow papered over the effects of chronic economic mismanagement, but that came to an end with the collapse of the Soviet Union, which was followed by a crippling famine.


That episode -- known as the Arduous March, when hundreds of thousands of people died -- is in the past but North Korea does not have access to the latest agricultural technology or fertilisers and its yields are well below global averages.


It is also a rugged, largely mountainous, country with only around 20 percent of its land area suitable for cultivation.


It was hit by a heatwave in July and August last year, followed by heavy rains and flash floods from Typhoon Soulik. As a result, the UN said, rice and wheat crops were down 12 to 14 percent.


The figure is significantly larger than in the South, where rice production was down only 2.6 percent last year, according to Seoul's statistics, even though it experiences similar weather and climate.


The North's soybean output slumped 39 percent and production of potatoes -- promoted by leader Kim as a way to increase supplies -- was 34 percent down, the UN said.


Last month Pyongyang told the UN that it was facing a shortfall of 1.4 million tonnes of food this year.


Mishra insisted that humanitarian agencies were able to monitor their programmes "rigorously" to make sure that help reached the most vulnerable people, adding: "We simply cannot leave them behind."





2018. Oct 5. 뉴스

































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