North Korea's Starving Soldiers
Will the North Korean regime go the way of the Middle East dictatorships besieged by a domino wave of revolutionaries? For now, the Kim dynasty seems as firmly entrenched as ever. But tyrants always do, right before they fall. And now a report based on interviews with defectors shows North Korean soldiers are literally starving to death. This opens up the possibility of a military coup, if civilians are too weakened by famine and brainwashed by propaganda to fight for their freedom -- and at this point, even an army coup could be better than what we've got right now.
"I was 155 centimeters high and weighed 42 kilograms when I entered the military, but my weight was reduced to 31 kilograms in two years," Paek Hwa-seong, one of the defectors, said at the seminar hosted by North Korea Strategy Center, a Seoul-based conservative private think tank on human rights in the communist state.
"My hair almost fell out after turning yellow and I was bony," Paek, who worked for a tank unit of the Fifth Corps of the People's Army before defection, said while testifying about malnutrition among soldiers.