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You Think Our Crisis Is Bad?

Don't miss Blaine Harden's fascinating and awful story on the long-term effects of North Korea's unending famine in the Washington Post today:

Mental retardation caused by malnutrition will disqualify about a quarter of potential military conscripts in North Korea, according to a December report by the National Intelligence Council, a research institution that is part of the U.S. intelligence community. The report said hunger-caused intellectual disabilities among the young are likely to cripple economic growth ... 

Kim is also struggling -- and by many accounts failing -- to contain an outbreak of capitalism and profiteering that food shortages and food aid have helped spread. ... "People on the outside don't realize it, but North Korea right now is in a drastic state of change," said Jiro Ishimaru, who edits Rimjingang, a journal of reports, photos and videos smuggled out of North Korea by anonymous eyewitnesses.

--Eve Fairbanks