North Korea began opening up to nongovernmental organizations in the 1990s, when severe food shortages forced it to seek outside aid. While both the famine of the mid-90s and the efforts to alleviate it got a good deal of press at the time, attention to this aspect of North Korea has fallen off in recent years as most press coverage now deals with the nuclear issues or questions of leadership succession. But while NGO activities may have dropped off over the last decade, a select few groups continue in their efforts to better the lives of ordinary North Koreans, despite all the limitations and difficulties they face in doing so.
CanKor has collected a partial list of nongovernmental organizations from the non-six-party talk countries currently engaged in humanitarian activities in North Korea. Some have been left out at their own request due to the politically sensitive nature of their work. Readers are encouraged to write in and inform us of any activities we may have missed.