[Special Edition]The Current Situation of North Korean People May-August 2009 by Ven. Pomnyun Sunim

[“Good Friends” aims to help the North Korean people from a humanistic point of view and publishes “North Korea Today” describing the way the North Korean people live as accurately as possible. We at Good Friends also hope to be a bridge between the North Korean people and the world.]


The Current Situation of North Korean People May-August 2009
(Food, Human Rights and Refugee)

September 2009
Venerable Pomnyun (Chairman of Good Friends)
E-Mail: pomnyun@jungto.org

1. The Food Situation of North Korean people
[Summary] In general, there is no food ration and food shortage is very serious. Food ration is either suspended or done in reduced quantities even in the cities with the best food condition such as Pyongyang and Hoeryong. The majority of ordinary people in rural areas are suffering from malnutrition because they are surviving on one to two meals a day or some porridge. However, there seems to be no massive death from starvation as there was during the spring hardship period in 2008. One of the reasons is that the majority of people are mobilized for 150-day battle, and they are fed at least with lunch even though the nutritional quality of the meal is very low. Another reason is that because many died of hunger last year those who survived have been taking extreme austerity measures for food since early this year in order to save food and deal with food shortage.

2. The Trend of Grain Prices
[Summary] Despite serious food shortage, the food price has stabilized since May. It is because the market is remarkably suppressed by increased control and most people do not have much purchasing power.