Brookings’ Roberta Cohen and Morton Abramowitz wrote a piece urging the US to increase food aid to North Korea. Although critics contend that increased aid would empower the North Korean regime, Cohen and Abramowitz write that history has shown otherwise. An excerpt below:
The American government has worked hard to be in lockstep with South Korea, but it should not extend that to changing its deeply held values. United States policy should be guided by its own traditions embodied in the doctrine enunciated by Ronald Reagan that hunger knows no politics. This policy served to justify food aid to starving Ethiopians under the thumb of a brutal communist and stridently anti-American regime. At the time, the same arguments against aid for North Korea were put forward, but the humanitarian imperative prevailed and it contributed to the eventual overthrow of Mengistu’s government.