The Political Economy of Food
This chapter considers humanitarian dilemmas surrounding aid to North Korea. It provides an overview of the food economy and the recurrence of shortages before turning to the political economy of food aid, which oscillated sharply between periods when aid was extended on both political and humanitarian grounds and periods when it was held in abeyance. The chapter considers the political economy of multilateral assistance and the politics of food aid in the United States, South Korea, and China. The regime’s nuclear priorities and/or acute bargaining problems around the monitoring of assistance resulted in delays in reaching needed agreements, shortfalls in the delivery of assistance, and acute humanitarian distress.
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