The Economist searches for signs of famine in North Korea:

Though North Koreans are already reported to be dying of hunger, a vast famine remains improbable. Localities have learnt not to depend on the central government for food, and this time appear better prepared. Meanwhile, the emergence of informal markets since the last famine underlines how much better North Koreans’ coping mechanisms have become. Still, the outside world again faces the uncomfortable problem of rewarding a regime’s bad behaviour with aid. That is the price of caring more for North Koreans’ welfare than their government does.

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