There's rarely a shortage of awful news emanating from North Korea, but the most recent is particularly gruesome. The Times (paywall) is reporting that North Korea has executed a father for allegedly killing his two children and eating them during a famine last year that may have killed as many as 10,000 people.
RCW contributor Todd Crowell wrote about this latest man-made famine last week:
The Hwangwhe provinces, north and south, lie just south of the capital, between Pyongyang and the South Korean border. They are often said to be the “breadbasket” of North Korea, supplying food to both key elements of North Korea’s social order: The million-man army, many of them deployed along their southern border facing South Korea; and the capital, Pyongyang.
For the past year, however, these provinces have not been able to feed themselves, due in part to the demands of these two powerful groups. In particular the capital has required considerably more of the provincial agriculture output to feed the thousands of workers who were imported to work on the major construction projects underway for the past three to four years.
So to the familiar list of culprits of food shortages -- floods followed by severe drought -- can be added a political, and completely man-made, dimension that has not been seen as much in the previous food shortages that have plagued North Korea for the better part of the last decade.