Have to correct a few misconceptions here folks, not taking sides or anything just stating the facts ma'am.
22,912,177 (just short of 23 million people)
120,410 sq km (Slightly smaller than Mississippi)
20.76% (25,000 sq km)
2.49% (3,000 sq km)
Late spring droughts often followed by severe flooding; occasional typhoons during the early fall
From the CIA World Factbook: North Korea
Op/Ed: North Korean Nuclear Confrontation: A history of efforts
From my Op/Ed on North Korea
In 1995-96 floods destroyed 16% of all arable land and drought ravaged the west coast in 1997. According to foreign aid workers an estimated 2 million
people died from famine in North Korea during this time.
3,000 sq km of permenant crops is not a lot of land to feed an entire nation. Especially with devasting drought and floods ravaging the most fertile
areas less than 10 years ago. Couple this together with a lack of high-density/high-yield farming methods and you have a recipe for disaster BEFORE
you factor in the governments spending and economic sanctions.
Just some basic math:
sq m of arable land per capita for North Korea:
25,000/22,912,177*1000= 1.09 sq m
sq m of arable land per capita for Ethiopia:
120715/73,053,286 *1000= 1.65 sq m
Interesting that North Koreans have 66% the arable land per head of population than Ethiopia has! We all remember the starving masses of Ethiopians
from the 80's. That was only caused by devasting drought. Can you imagine a county that has just over half the capacity to grow food as Ethiopia
having a devasting drought as well as multiple devasting floods? Make no mistake, North Korea would be in extreme famine even if it was a democratic,
good natured government.
My point I suppose is regardless of the North Korean governments actions these people should deserve our help more than ever.
Somalia recieved aid even though warlords were ravaging the country and behaving as badly as Kim Jong Il's regime ever have. They even killed
American soldiers (remember Black Hawk Down?) and they still have a higher percentage of arable land per head of population than North Korea. They
have 1.22sq m per person and they got all the international food aid they needed DESPITE its internal workings.
Compassion seems to be held back by governments only in the North Koreans case and I for one disagree with the World's response here. Comparing
satellite pictures and comparing how "green" it looks is nothing but a superficial attempt to judge a country in the most patronising manner I've
Some other food for thought because I just love my calculator
More sq m/pop indexes (bare in mind intensive modern agriculture methods and lack of drought and floods in most countries)
My mother always said "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar". I know its simplistic when applied to entire countries but all countries
are comprised of people. People's natures are generally universal.
[edit on 22/5/05 by subz]