published Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

A tragically necessary decision

Probably no regime on the face of the Earth is more vicious than that of Communist North Korea. The faintest hint of dissent can lead to torture or execution, not only for the so-called “offender” but even for his relatives. Individual liberty is so brutally suppressed that some have observed that the nation is in effect a “giant concentration camp.”

Meanwhile, its collectivist economic system is so inefficient that mass starvation has afflicted the people of North Korea again and again.

While free nations abhor the Communist North Korean government’s cruelty, we equally lament the suffering of the country’s people and seek to ease that suffering with food shipments.

But in 2009, the United States suspended its food aid to North Korea. Why? Because that nation’s dictatorial leadership had expelled foreign monitors whose duty it was to confirm that the food actually went to the hungry people. Disgustingly, Communist North Korea has at times diverted food aid meant for civilians to its military — a military that suppresses the civilian population.

Tragically, some recent reports from that country indicate that it is again suffering severe food shortages, leaving famished citizens to forage for grass and herbs in some cases.

It is impossible not to pity the people of North Korea. But sadly, the United States cannot afford to send unmonitored aid to that nation when the aid is highly likely to be used not to help but to afflict Communist North Korea’s people.

How much better for North Korea if it had followed prosperous South Korea’s model of economic and personal liberty.

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