Since succeeding his father, Kim Jong-Il, Kim Jong-Un has presided over persisting famine and persecution of Christians,
even while he has lifted a number of restrictions such as bans on Western foods and the quota of mobile phones. According to a new report by the International Food Policy Research Institute, North Korea’s current famine is worse than in 1990. The report on the 2012 Global Hunger Index of 120 nations shows the famine index is at 19, the same as last year. The index is based on data from 2005 to 2010, the last year for which information is available. While other countries’ scores have improved, North Korea’s situation worsened more rapidly by 21 percent. Its index was 15.7 in 1990.
An index of zero means that there are no cases of starvation and a score of 100 means that all the population is suffering from hunger. An index of over 10 is considered a serious situation. The institute claims that North Korea has failed to eradicate famine because it is implementing the wrong policies in agriculture, food security and public health.
The late Kim Jong-Il’s tenure as dictator was marked by intense persecution of Christians, including the imprisonment of generations of families for a single individual’s offence, as well as executions. Christian believers and three generations of their family can still go to prison for life just for owning a Bible.
Sources say they have not heard any reports of improvement for Christians in the country and have no reason to believe anything has changed. The regime reportedly still has up to 70,000 Christians locked away in virtual concentration camps.
Meanwhile, the secret service has reportedly taken over from the army the responsibility of guarding the borders. They catch smugglers and force them to spy on Christian networks in China, especially those with ties to North Korean refugees