BEIJING -- North Korea is heading toward its worst food crisis since the 1990s because of flooding, successive crop failures and worldwide inflation for staples such as rice and corn, the United Nations World Food Program said Wednesday.If we just had to knock out one member of the Axis of Evil, it should've been North Korea. With a presumed average IQ around 106, possibly depressed a few points from nutritional deficiencies, what prevents it from becoming a smaller version of South Korea a generation or two from now?
The agency shied away from predicting another famine like the one that killed as many as 2 million people in the 1990s, but said its field staff was observing some of the same warning signs.
People are again foraging for wild plants, grass and seaweed to supplement their meager diets. Hospitals are reporting an increase in chronic diarrhea and illness that are often linked to malnutrition. Many families have cut back from three meals a day to two.
Using a simple linear equation built from IQ estimates and '06 purchasing power parity numbers provided by the CIA Factbook predicts PPP to be $38,200, assuming an average IQ of only 100. That's obviously a very simplistic way of formulating a prediction, and South Korea, forty years ahead of the North, is only a little over halfway to that level of economic prosperity. But in terms of distance from potential, contemporary North Korea is much further away than either Iraq or Iran are.