Misiles, Mickey Mouse y Corea del Norte

PYONGYANG: Lo más predecible de Corea del Norte es su impredictibilidad. Un día de la semana pasada el hijo de su "Querido Líder", Kim Jong-il, fue arrestado por intentar entrar a Japón con un pasaporte falso (supuestamente para llevar a su hijo a la Disneylandia de Tokyo); otro día nos presenta la promesa de mantener su moratoria para las pruebas de misiles hasta 2003 así como continuar con las ventas de tecnología balística a países como Irán. Pero hay un segundo elemento, que tampoco cambia, en los asuntos norcoreanos: su economía “basket-case”.

Quizá un millón de personas murieron en la hambruna de Corea del Norte entre 1995 y 1997. Ahora el Programa Mundial de Alimentos teme que otra hambruna se esté gestando: es muy probable que la producción agrícola del país caiga a 1.8 millones de toneladas de grano, mucho menos que los 4.8 millones de toneladas necesarias para proveer la magra ración de 7 onzas diarias (la mitad de la porción diaria suministrada en los campos de refugiados de las Naciones Unidas) que los norcoreanos reciben. Para empeorar la cosa, las reservas alimenticias de la nación se terminaron en enero y el apoyo alimenticio brindado por Corea del Sur se terminará este mes.

Aunque el Programa Mundial de Alimentos mantiene a los seis millones de niños de Corea del Norte, 17 millones de adultos tienen que vérselas solos. (Un programa tipo "milicia primero" asegura que la mayoría de los suministros sean desviados a los inmensos ejército y burocracia permanentes de Corea del Norte.) Para sobrevivir, muchos norcoreanos recolectan raíces y hojas comestibles y hacen sopa con tallos de col y desperdicios vegetales. Aquellos que logren mantenerse con vida estarán más desnutridos que nunca y el porcentaje de niños cuyo crecimiento es obstaculizado será mayor que los dos tercios de la actualidad.

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