How great can the vanity, stupidity, and evil of one man be?
Great enough to watch famine and death overtake his country without doing anything about it. Great enough to watch children die by the thousands.
Kim Chong-il inherited the position of dictator of North Korea after the death of his father, Kim Il-song, in 1994. Since that time, the North Korean economy has steadily deteriorated, actually shrinking by an average of four percent in 1995 and 1996.
The situation is so bad that outside observers say that there is mass starvation among children. World Food Program chief Catherine Bertini says, “50 to 80 percent of the children they have seen in nurseries are underweight…. They are literally wasting away.”
Meanwhile, dictator Kim continues to funnel most of his country’s rapidly-diminishing resources into the military, so that he can maintain his rule and continue to run North Korea as a rigidly controlled Stalinist economy, cut off from the outside world.
Is Kim going to change the system before starvation reaches epidemic proportions? Probably not. The rumor mills say that rather than change the system, Kim is contemplating a last ditch attack on his prosperous neighbor, South Korea.