North Korea Making Concessions for Food Aid

According to reports, the International Atomic Energy Agency has received a letter from the capitol of North Korea inviting them to visit the country.  Details of when or where the IAEA would make their visit are reportedly still being discussed following the invitation that comes three months after 28-year-old (or 27 as his birth year is apparently not entirely clear) Kim Jong-un became North Korea’s “Supreme Commander”, succeeding his unpredictable father Kim Jong-il. The move appears to be a compromise with the west as the United States is currently working out a deal that will see 240,000 metric tonnes of food given as aid to the politically isolated section of the Korean peninsula.  A small contribution considering what seems to be needed in the reportedly highly rationed country that could easily be going through another famine similar to the one in the 1990’s.  That may be the reason for all the “happy” faces in the photo above? Former United States president Jimmy Carter reported in 2011 following a visit that children were malnourished while the daily caloric intake was reduced from 1400 to 700 (a healthy intake is around 2000 per day).

Though it looks as if this concession will be as ineffectual as every other scrap North Korea has given the west in past years as the country is supposedly planning to launch a rocket-mounted satellite in April to celebrate Korea’s late “Great Leader and Eternal President” (talk about egotism) Kim Il-sung’s 100th birthday.  Wouldn’t a big parade prove celebration enough? Later this month President Barack Obama is headed to South Korea for a summit on nuclear security but unfortunately the North won’t be taking part.  The aggressive, paranoid and childish behaviour of the North continues to dominate and the IAEA, which by the way has one of its two Regional Safeguards Offices in Toronto, will have its hands full sifting through the bologna in the coming weeks, months and presumably years ahead. | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS | The Ontarian, Writer, Editor

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