April 17th, 2012
07:12 AM ET

Zakaria: North Korea's dismal festival

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

It's not all missiles and mischief in Pyongyang these days. Despite the dire state of the nation, the North Koreans have had time for fun. Earlier this month they threw a food festival replete with sturgeon, soft-shell crab, bullfrog and other "famous dishes." The sign says, in English, "Cook Festival of Holiday of April."

Check out the video above. This ridiculous display was put on by the government in a nation where as many as 3 million people are at risk of starvation. And to make matters worse, North Korea recently got cut off from American food aid.

North Korea: The land of unique tastes and dreadful policies.

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Topics: Last Look • North Korea

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soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Mike

    So their fat pig of a leader and the other puppets under him got to eat well, while everyone else starved.

    April 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  2. sanjosemike

    Despots ALWAYS feed their armies first. That is one of the ways they manage to stay in power. It's always been like that, ever since the very first warlord took a position of power.

    If there isn't much to go around, armies will always be fed first. North Korea is in a tough agricultural place due to their very short growing season and authoritarian regime. There would be much more food to go around if a form of capitalism would be allowed (like China).

    But you and I (and the starving people of NK) will never see that.


    April 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  3. More

    I have a food festivel going on in my pants.

    April 17, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  4. jesse


    April 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  5. PhilG

    How many millions of Americans are at risk of starvation right now?

    While billions of taxpayer money goes to the oil companies and to banks and Wall Street and into the pockets of Congressmen to let it all continue.

    You want North Korea to change,lead by example.

    Otherwise,stop the sensational journalism and talk with the North Korean government like they actually run North Korea because,guess what,they actually do.

    April 17, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Reply
    • John Vogel

      CNN would never write something negative about the Obama administration. Its not only Wall Street and oil companies, look at the Obama admin and his GSA!

      April 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  6. John Vogel

    The food festival is nothing!!! How about reporting on something even more ridiculous – the GSA. There are thousands if not millions of people who can't get access to decent food, health care, or dental care while millions of dollars were completely wasted on something even more ridiculous. The money wasted by the GSA makes the money spent on the food festival look like loose change.

    April 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Reply
    • danielwalldammit

      I see the republican s have got their talking points in order. Well done, folks.

      April 17, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  7. Pro-active

    Good to see that they have a lovely food festival but even better if only they would feed their people with the same type & quality of food. That's what they should be aspiring to do – getting their priorities right and not allowing their citizens to starve.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:12 am | Reply
  8. Barbara Sorenson

    I don't know how anyone can compare what happened in Pyongyang to what happens in the States. For God's sake, people, no one is starving to death here. We have food stamps and food banks. People there are dying. Dead. Not coming back. Little children dying in their parents' arms. Literally. A homeless person here has way more to eat. Get real. Take American politics out of this picture. It wouldn't matter who was president here. North Korea's Food Festival was unconscionable.

    April 18, 2012 at 3:05 am | Reply
    • ricardo1968

      Are you sure about this? How?

      April 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  9. ayala

    All I hear about in North Korea is the starvation and oppression. Yet, news footage from there shows people generally well dressed, and no one lying in the streets dying or gaunt. What gives?

    April 18, 2012 at 7:40 am | Reply
  10. Ah Sol

    Everything North Korea does is with our consent,
    as long as we are content to sit on our rumps and do nothing.

    April 18, 2012 at 7:40 am | Reply
  11. TOMG


    April 18, 2012 at 8:12 am | Reply
  12. David

    We do not know the full extent of their famine. Just because We cut off their food supply doesn't mean they could be on the brink of starving. Remember, most of the men in that country belong to their military. Do you honestly think that they would starve them, especially under the shaky ground that they are on?

    April 18, 2012 at 8:44 am | Reply
  13. dsbsky

    Just more proof of how we need to cut our losses with N Korea and let them fall apart, go to war or whatever else happens to them . I know I don't care anymore.. I don't.. Tired of caring about people who would S on us ,given half a chance.. Why bother?

    April 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  14. PPJr

    See how wonderful life in North Korea? Just like in Cuba! Whereas in United States people are starving! What a shame!

    April 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  15. palintwit

    Sarah Palin is the only one who can heal and re-unify our country. But in order to do so, she must get back in her bus and resume her cross country tour. She will have to visit cities both large and small, speaking only to "real Americans", dispensing her sage advice and folksy, homespun common sense solutions. We can be a great nation again but we must follow the "Palin Path".

    April 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  16. ricardo1968

    The NKorean starving poor are a bit like the Loch Ness monster. All we have are grainy photos and material that is obviously propaganda that is almost as egragious as the stuff made by NKorea. The media seems hard pressed to really show evidence of just how bad it is in NK. I understand that NK is a strange place, but is there a higher percentage of starving people there than in the U.S? I have had difficulty determining this.

    April 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
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