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Defector Survey on International Food Aid Distribution

April 8, 2011

In March 2011 NKnet interviewed 500 defectors, over half of whom left North Korea in 2010 or early 2011, about the international food aid to the country over the last several years.

Key findings include:

  • The North Korean authorities retrieved aid distributed by foreign monitors
  • Food aid from the international community was distributed to Party cadres, the military, Party organs and other privileged groups
  • The fundamental causes of the food crisis are excessive military expenditure, the incompetence of the leadership and domestic policy failures
  • South Korean food aid cannot influence the North Korean regime’s hard-line attitude… yet aid to the vulnerable classes must be assessed


Defector Survey on International Food Aid Distribution (.PDF file)

Media Coverage:

78% of N.Korean Defectors Never Saw Foreign Food Aid
Chosun Ilbo
April 6, 2011

Economist Marcus Noland’s comments
PIIE’s NK blog
April 7, 2011


Stephan Haggard looks in more detail at the survey
PIIE’s NK blog
July 6th, 2011

New Defectors Reject EU Decision
The Daily NK interviews a few very recent defectors about their opinions on food aid
July 7, 2011

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