Starving N Korean children 'stunted'
Millions of North Korean children are not getting the food, medicine or healthcare they need to develop, leaving many stunted and malnourished, the UN said yesterday.
A third of children under age five show signs of stunting, particularly in rural areas where food is scarce, and diarrhoea due to a lack of clean water has become the leading cause of death. Hospitals are bare; few have water or power, and medicine is in short supply.
"I've seen babies . . . who should have been sitting up who were not sitting up, and can hardly hold a baby bottle," Jerome Sauvage, the UN's Pyongyang-based resident coordinator for North Korea, said in Beijing before presenting the report to donors.
The report paints a horrific picture of deprivation in the countryside, not often seen by outsiders, who are usually not allowed to travel beyond the relatively prosperous Pyongyang, where cherubic children are hand-picked to attend government celebrations and a middle-class with a taste for good food have the means to eat out.