This blog's main focus poverty in Korea is also violating Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: the right to food. Getting to know those facts, National Courts have the potential to prosecute the violation of human right in North Korea. The U.S., for example, can prosecute by using Alien Tort Claims Act. Also other countries can prosecute North Korea through universal jurisidction.
Facing the serious poverty in North Korea, developed countries including the US and South Korea have been sending food aid and material support to North Korea. The graph below is the supplies of US food aid to North Korea.
However, it is reported that 30 – 50% of the international aid is diverted. In 2008, South Korea reported that the North was distributing international rice aid to its military rather than to its hungry population, and also the food aid is sold to elite members of North Korea by the state. So all these mean that the aid sent for the poor people in Noth Korea are not actually received by people in serious need, but the aid is shared only by the government and elites.
There is also a news that came out in March, 2009. Probably for a response to US criticism against North Korea's nueclear weapon, North Korea kicked out five of major US food aid groups from North Korea. Mercy Corp is one of them. You can read the article from here http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7949785.stm.
However, in June, 2009, Security Council decided to give North Korea sanctions for thier nueclera weapon program. And, in October, 2009 despite the fact that North Korea refused US food supplies in March, North Korea asked South Korea for food aid at the talks of Red Cross and South Korea ended up offering to ship 10,000 tons of corn to North Korea. South Korea's president Lee Myung-bak tried to not diminish the impact of the sanction to North Korea due to thier nuclear weapon test. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/world/asia/27korea.html)
It seems the sanctions to North Korea is not working. The North Korean government has not given up thier nuclear programs.
Wi Sung-lac, the Foreign Ministry’s top negotiator with North Korea said, “The sanctions will have a bite, but I’m not sure if it will be painful enough to change North Korean policy. What we need on top of the sanctions is a united approach by the key players to enforce them.”
North Korea's poverty will be never solved unless the government changes their policy of dictatorship, nuclear weapon and thier relationship to other nations.