THE PLANK MARCH 6, 2009
Don't miss Blaine Harden's fascinating and awful story on the long-term effects of North Korea's unending famine in the Washington Post today:
Mental retardation caused by malnutrition will disqualify about a
quarter of potential military conscripts in North Korea, according to a
December report by the National Intelligence Council, a research
institution that is part of the U.S. intelligence community. The report
said hunger-caused intellectual disabilities among the young are likely
to cripple economic growth ...
Kim is also struggling -- and by many accounts failing -- to contain an
outbreak of capitalism and profiteering that food shortages and food
aid have helped spread. ... "People on the outside don't realize it, but North Korea right now
is in a drastic state of change," said Jiro Ishimaru, who edits
Rimjingang, a journal of reports, photos and videos smuggled out of
North Korea by anonymous eyewitnesses.