Saturday, June 1, 2019

North Korean Near-Famine Reportedly Leads To Dead Nuclear Negotiators

It has not been officially reported by the North Korean govt, but long running rumors are now being reported by various  serious media that Trump's big pal Kim Jong Un has recently killed the top 5 officials of his govt who set up his  failed summit with US President Trump.

According to sources I watch there has been a massive crop failure this year in the Democratic Peoples' Republic (DPRK). The big issue there is if the local, semi-allowed private markets in ag will save the population from outright starvation. At this time this is not  known.

So this difficult situation may be partly responsible for Kim Jong Un killing the top five negotiators with the US on nuclear weapons for the summit in Hanoi.  In addition, reportedly five more senior officials have been sent to rural labor, or something like that.

A report from South Korea's Chousn Ilbo nuwspaper is that whom Kim Jong Il killed was Kim Hyok Choi, along with four others, although this has not been confirmed by outside observers.  The newspaper also claimed that five other officials were sent to hard labor, but at least one of those has appeared in public, so this raises questions about this report, which some doubt (see comments below)

The unclear question is how much will the unofficial private markets in DPRK will save people from outright starvation/famine. The deepest  sources ai have followed say that it is unclear.  DPKR is not a "normal" country, and we have no way to know what is actually going on there now.

Given that his nation is facing food shortages, it is not surprising that he may be facing an internal challenge, and now we see that manifested by him overcoming any inside opposition by killing these five individuals. 

Note that this post has been revised in light of new information and comments below.

Barkley Rosser


Anonymous said...

This is a report taken from a wild rightist paper in South Korea that continually prints reports about North Korea that are later completely discredited. said...

There have been rumors about this for some time, and nobody is denying it. Looks to be true, although if the supposedly dead officials show up live then we can dismiss the report. It is definitely true that they have had a bad harvest, even though this has not been reported in the major US media. I follow a website that tracks DPRK economic news, and it has been reporting on this for some time now.

Anonymous said...

So this difficult situation may be partly responsible for Kim Jong Un killing the top five negotiators with the US on nuclear weapons for the summit in Hanoi. In addition, reportedly five more senior officials have been sent to rural labor, or something like that....

[ This is no evidence that this killing story is true. This is what I was referring to, but this essay is written as though the killing was known to be true.

I should have been specific, and am sorry I was unclear. ]

Anonymous said...

Since you have sources about economic conditions in North Korea, please do set these sources down. I know nothing about the North Korean economy. What I happen to know, by chance, is the questionable South Korean source of the killing story.

Anonymous said...

"Looks to be true, although if the supposedly dead officials show up live then we can dismiss the report."

This is not the way in which a scholar or decent journalist should work. The source of the killing story is a wild rightist paper that has repeatedly printed such false stories about North Korea. North Korea is to me a frightening country, but still I want to know that what I read about the country is accurate and it is critically important for diplomatic purposes to know what is accurate.

The story must be confirmed before being spread about.

Anonymous said...

I do appreciate the essay, which I read carefully, but I always want to know the difference between what there is evidence for and what is unknown. said...

OK, Anonymous, the report has not been verified by US intel. The main source is indeed Chosun Ilbo, the largest newspaper in ROK. However, according to a story in NY Times yesterday there is at least one other source, someone at the Korea Peace and Economy Institute, about which I know nothing. Apparently the main figures were not at the summit between Putin and Kim, although, of course that does not prove anyone dead or purged.

One other tidbit is that the official North Korean paper, Rodong Sinmun, had a major denunciation of supposed plotters, unnamed, with this ending with "Such characters won't escapr the stern judgment from the revolution," which also does not prove that such judgment has led to anybody getting killed.

The blog on North Korean economics is .

Anonymous said...

...largest newspaper in ROK

[ Yes, the Sun is a large (2nd largest?) British newspaper, but the Sun is extreme-right and never ever to be trusted without verification.

The tidbit is meaningless, since there is no context offered.

The point is I know just enough to know that news reports on North Korea are difficult and can take considerable time to verify.

I much appreciate the blog reference.

Anyway, the post was worth thinking carefully about. So, thank you. ] said...

Well, the near famine in DPRK remains all but unreported in the MSM, much less my speculation about it possibly playing a role in whatever has happened to the former leaders of the negotiating team, even if that is not as severe as these reports suggest. The Rodong Sunmin story makes clear that there is some heavy duty political stuff going on in that country, with people getting seriously denounced, even if they are not ending up dead. The bad food situation has probably aggravted the tensions that lie behind that denunciation.

Anonymous said...

Top North Korean Official Reappears Days After Purge Report
June 2, 2019

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rosser,

I do hope you will post a retraction of the fake news that was accepted and repeated. The reason is not because a mistake was made, but because we should understand that those who originated the fake news are trying to push us destroy North Korea even as we destroyed Iraq on fake news...

Anonymous said...

North Korean Near-Famine Leads To Dead Nuclear Negotiators
Barkley Rosser | June 3, 2019

North Korean Near-Famine Leads To Dead Nuclear Negotiators

[ Please correct this. Please. ]

Barkley Rosser said...


Sorry, I shall do so when we see Kim Hyok Choi alive. So far, the guy who has appeared is the supposed right hand man who was supposedly sent to hard labor. I did not mention specifically the hard labor part.

I await seeing Kim Hyok Choi alive before I retract the report. You are jumping the gun because you do not like Chosun Ilbo, Theat people may have been executed has not yet been shown to be fake news.

Let me point out that the language used in DPRK Rodong Sinmun was last used when Kim Jong Un executed his uncle. I also continue to see nearly zero commentary by MSM on the bad harvest and its impact on DPRK politics. It may be that nobody has been executed, but pretty clearly some serious political tension is occurring. And it remains the case that none of those rumored to have been executed have appeared in public, although they may still do so.

If so, then I shall retract. But until then, no.

Anonymous said...

No, I "know" what it is to be a scholar and I know you are not writing as a scholar here. This is terrible for a prominent scholar to write:

"North Korean Near-Famine Leads To Dead Nuclear Negotiators"

I thought you were better than this.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed, but I have learned a lot from this only in no way what you might suppose. I have learned, I already knew actually, always be self-protective even among colleagues. said...


I have made some revisions of the original post in light of your remarks, including of the title.

BTW, it really would be useful, please if you sould give yourself a moniker, if you do not wish to use your real name. We get comments from "Anonymous" and it would be nice to be able to distinguish which Anonymous is which. I have on more than one occasion expressed my lack of respect for people who post criticisms while calling themselves "Anommous." At least give yourself a fake identity while you make demands.

Barkley Rosser said...

Looking closely at these message, I think you are anne-onoymous.

Still waiting to see if Kim Hyok Choi shows up. Not yet.