Abstract

This article discusses North Korea as a case of state-induced famine, or faminogenesis. A famine from 1994 to 2000 killed 3–5% of North Korea’s population, and mass hunger reappeared in 2010–2012, despite reforms meant to address the shortage of food. In addition, a prison population of about 200,000 people is systematically deprived of food; this might be considered penal starvation. There seems little recourse under international law to punish the perpetrators of state-induced famine and penal starvation. State-induced famine does, however, fit some of the criteria of genocide in the United Nations Convention against Genocide, and could also be considered a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. There would seem, then, to have been a case for referral of North Korea’s recently deceased leader, Kim Jong Il, to the International Criminal Court, and it is still a case for referral of Kim’s successors. However, strategic concerns about North Korea’s nuclear weapons outweigh humanitarian concerns about North Korea’ s citizens.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1911-9933
Print ISSN
1911-0359
Pages
pp. 147-165
Launched on MUSE
2012-11-16
Open Access
No
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