Japan and the Korean Peninsula

What catastrophe happened in North Korea in 1995

Because of their isolation from former trading partners in the Soviet Union, coupled with poor relations with neighboring China, failed economic policies that drove up the price of food, excessive military expenditures, and severe floods, the production of grain in North Korea fell below what was needed to sustain the population in 1995. This triggered food shortages and caused the deaths of between one and three million people. It is not clear how many people died during the three-year famine because the government does not report these types of figures.

The United States gave approximately $600 million to North Korea to help prevent mass starvation. The largest donor country in the world, America contributed more than 50 percent of the total aid given to North Korea to help stop the famine.


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