The Great North Korean Famine: Famine, Politics, and Foreign Policy

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A terrible famine struck the most reclusive society on earth in 1994. Over the next five years, while the North Korean regime tried to hide the dreadful reality and the international community tried hard not to look, perhaps as many as 3 million people starved to death. In this powerful, provocative book, Andrew Natsios asks three overarching questions: What do we know about the origins and extent of the famine? Why did donor governments and organizations not do more to help? What are the consequences of the ...
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Overview

A terrible famine struck the most reclusive society on earth in 1994. Over the next five years, while the North Korean regime tried to hide the dreadful reality and the international community tried hard not to look, perhaps as many as 3 million people starved to death. In this powerful, provocative book, Andrew Natsios asks three overarching questions: What do we know about the origins and extent of the famine? Why did donor governments and organizations not do more to help? What are the consequences of the famine for North Korea and the lessons for the international community?

In the search for answers, Natsios supplements the scanty store of published sources by drawing on the testimony of thousands of refugees, on thousands of e-mails he received while heading an NGO effort to aid the victims, and on his own encounters with officials from North Korea as well as from Western governments. The picture he presents is a disturbing one: human misery on a biblical scale, a paranoid regime that sacrificed its own citizens to ideological rigidity and pride, and foreign governments that subordinated humanitarian impulses to political and diplomatic interests.

A compelling and revealing book for specialists and general readers alike,The Great North Korean Famine takes us not only behind the well-guarded borders of the brutally incompetent “Hermit Kingdom” but also into the policymaking labyrinth where ethics and politics clash in the struggle to shape foreign policy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In The Great North Korean Famine: Famine, Politics, and Foreign Policy, Andrew S. Natsios (American Foreign Policy and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) sneaks past the physical and media barricades the North Korean dictatorship hides behind to explore the tragic events that killed approximately three million people between 1994 and 1999. As a senior administrator of an NGO, Natsios spearheaded an international humanitarian effort to stem the famine's spread but was met with ignorance and indifference by many governments and organizations. Culling information from the testimonies of refugees, from his experiences with North Korean and Western officials, and from his considerable grasp of the interplay between the realms of international relief and foreign policy, Natsios delivers a portrait of an unfeeling North Korean government and the politics of humanitarian aid. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929223343
  • Publisher: United States Institute of Peace Press (USIP Press)
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

A senior fellow at the Institute in 1998–99, Andrew Natsios is currently administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development and formerly was vice president of World Vision U.S. His previous publications include American Foreign Policy and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Natsios is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. He holds an M.P.A. from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction
Pt. I The Search
1 Roots of the Crisis 5
2 Inside North Korea: Prefamine Indicators 23
3 The Hidden Famine 37
4 Surviving the Famine: Along the Chinese Frontier 55
5 The Economics of the Famine 89
Pt. II The Response
6 The Diplomacy of the Famine 123
7 The Politics of Famine: The Battle in Washington 141
8 The International Aid Effort 165
9 A Great Famine? 201
Pt. III The Consequences
10 The Political and Security Consequences of the Famine 217
11 What Is to Be Done? 237
App "Feed North Korea: Don't Play Politics with Hunger" 249
Notes 253
Select Bibliography 275
Index 283
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