North Korea (MNN) ― More sanctions are coming to punish rogue state, North Korea. The country has already been hit with trade restrictions with the United States that date back to 1950, and only eased a bit in 1989.
The real tragedy is framed by the people there. They live in virtual starvation. British Prime Minister, Tony Blair says the conditions are "almost a form of political oppression that's akin to slavery," noting that while the people starve, their government spends billions of dollars on a nuclear weapons program.
In decades past, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) responded with aid. However, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee's Jacob Kramer says it's a situation going from bad to worse for humanitarian aid.
"The mechanisms which were in place have since dwindled," he says, referencing the increasing difficulties they've had getting supplies through. Over the last five years, they've done about four million Canadian dollars' worth of aid each year.
However, this year, he says, "Our efforts to bring in food is not taking place at this moment. We have no way, at this moment, to distribute."
The CRWRC's presence in the region came through its partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Minimal amounts of medicines are reaching people, but very little in the way of food.
If humanitarian aid is not exempt, starvation is likely to result for thousands. It's a worst-case scenario for the remnant church.
Kramer describes the critical prayer need. "If the Spirit led the churches and the Christians in Eastern Europe to take courage, and in that way have certainly had their influence on getting the inside (so) that no longer could an exclusive group run the country, then the Spirit can do the same in North Korea."