North Korea claims sanctions threaten the survival of its children
Han Tae-song, Pyongyang's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, took advantage of a hearing by a U.N. committee on children to whine about how sanctions "seriously threaten" the health and well-being of North Korea's children.
What's ironic about the ambassador's warning is that the hearing he was testifying at was held to look into independent allegations of forced child labor, sexual abuse, and trafficking in North Korea.
Han said North Korea, whose population is 26 million, is a "people-centered socialist country... where protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of the child are given top priority ... There is room for improvement."
But Han said that new sanctions imposed by the United States and the U.N. Security Council over North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile tests were hampering the production of nutritional goods for children and provision of textbooks.
"The persistent and vicious blockade and sanctions against the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) are not only hampering the endeavors for the protection and promotion of the rights of the child but also seriously threatening their right to survival," he said, calling for sanctions to be lifted.
The U.N. Security Council has unanimously imposed nine rounds of sanctions on North Korea since 2006, the latest earlier this month capping fuel supplies to the isolated state.
Han said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un – denounced by U.S. President Donald Trump as "Rocket Man" – "personally guides the construction in different parts of the country of schoolchildren's palaces, children's hospitals, baby homes, children's homes, and primary and secondary boarding schools and works with devotion for the well-being of the young generation".
I think I'm going to be sick.
Since the mid-1990s, when North Korea's nuclear program began in earnest, the Kim family have bankrupted their nation, pouring resources into making an atomic weapon rather than the agricultural sector. In 2001, a prolonged drought resulted in the death by starvation of up to one million people – most of them children and seniors.
Now what the U.N. is calling the worst drought since 2001 is threatening a repeat of that nightmare. This mass starvation may be even worse. That's because of the way that the Kim regime distributes food. The priorities are:
1. The communist leadership
2. The military leadership
3. Individual soldiers
Whether it's a commentary on communist society or not, the last drought resulted in many parents denying food to their children so the adults could eat. Apparently, North Korean society does not foster parental instincts.
There is a quick fix for North Korea if the North Koreans are concerned about the health of their children. Halt their mad rush to develop nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. They can keep their "cult of personality," closed society, and oppressive regime. All the world wants is for them to behave like a member of a civilized society.
But with so much invested in their nuclear program, it isn't likely that Kim will act to save the children.