ObservationsEconomic mismanagement, natural disasters, collapse of the Soviet bloc, military-first policy
The famine stemmed from a variety of factors. Economic mismanagement and the loss of Soviet support caused food production and imports to decline rapidly. A series of floods and droughts exacerbated the crisis but were not its direct cause. The North Korean government and its centrally planned system proved too inflexible to effectively curtail the disaster. Estimates of the death toll vary widely. Out of a total population of approximately 22 million, somewhere between 240,000 and 3,500,000 North Koreans died from starvation or hunger-related illnesses, with the deaths peaking in 1997.
Though the worst of the famine has since passed, North Korea still relies heavily on foreign aid and has not resumed food self-sufficiency. Bouts of food shortage continue to occur, and malnutrition is still widespread.
1 disc containing 3 documentaries on this subject, total runtime approx 100 mins
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