North Korea has been the focus of attention on this planet from the day when Korea split into the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). This is because of discontent, harsh relations and a highly militarized disdain that both countries have for each other. Now severe floods can be added to the list of concerns for North Korea.
North Korea at Odds with the World
North Korea was established with full-fledged support to communism by China and the Soviet Union, while on the other hand, South Korea got the support of Japan and the United States. With the support of the Soviet Union, North Korea’s first Supreme Leader Kim Il-Sung got in charge of the country to make it a prosperous state, because in the past Korea was under the occupation of Japan which was a dark era for the Korean Nation. After Kim II-sung, Kim Jong-Il became the Supreme Leader of North Korea.
But North Korea’s relations with the International Community has been a downfall because of the extreme and strict policies of Kim Jong-Il for other countries of this world. Moreover, the United Nation has imposed many economic restrictions and social boycott on North Korea. The situation went from bad to worse, scary and a threat for the International Community in 2006 after North Korea’s announcement of being a nuclear power. Adding to this, North Korea’s shelling on South Korea and direct threats to the United States made North Korea all alone on the face of this earth.
Floods in North Korea
Being alone, the North Korean people have been facing many problems such as famine in 1994, and then severe floods in 2006 and 2007. Another severe flood began last August that remained during the whole winter. According to official statements of North Korea’s State Media. it was the worst disaster since 1945 which consequently left thousands of people homeless and destroyed hundreds of buildings. Approximately 133 people have been reported dead, and 600,000 have become homeless in this devastating flood. The Red Cross Society came forward to support people affected by the floods, but could only raise 25% of $15.38 million needed, which led to disappointment and discouragement for fundraisers.
Fundraising Has Been Slow
Patrick Fuller, the communication manager for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) told media in Beijing after returning from North Korea that “International donors need to put politics aside and recognize this is as a humanitarian tragedy for thousands of people”. He also added that “donors’ political concerns about the North Korean government have hampered efforts to raise funds, even though the money donated to the Red Cross is spent by the organization, without passing through the government”.
The North Korean government pledged to build 20,000 houses for people to deal with the winter but it is still not enough for the 600,000 people who lost their homes in the floods. The international society’s harsh behavior is considered the results of North Korea’s consecutive nuclear tests and threats to many countries such as Japan, South Korea and especially the United States. But humanity is most important, the international community must help those innocent homeless people regardless of their leader’s deeds over which they don’t have control. Floods are now an additional risk for the wellbeing of North Koreans on top of everything else.
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