If recent estimates are to be believed, more than two million people may have died in the famine that engulfed North Korea in 1997 and 1998. In 1997, the United Nations estimated that 4.7 million North Koreans were in danger of starvation. In response, the international community pledged food aid. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies presented an expanded appeal for aid in June 1997. In January 1998, the World Food Programme (WFP) launched its biggest appeal, setting a target of 380 million US dollars in food aid, nearly double the amount requested for 1997. Yet, the international community has met resistance in attempting to assist North Koreans suffering from malnutrition and facing starvation.
Rohan J. Hardcastle and Adrian T. L. Chua are from the Faculty of Law, University of Western Australia, Perth.