North Korea: Will winter shortages intensify rights abuses?

The last sentence in this article caught my eye: "As for executions, imprisonment and torture, says Ms. Kwon [an editor for  the Daily NK], “they are such common things, we just focus on the news.”"

Despite the continued denials from the North Korean government, human rights violations in North Korea have reached the level where they are so frequent that they are being ignored, even by the citizens themselves. Such violations have been known for a long time, but the fact that they've become so normal as to become a part of life is very startling. Although North Korea's continued abuse of human rights just provides another justification to the various sanctions and restrictions applied to it by the international community, but we can't stop giving North Korea humanitarian aid to save some of the millions of people starving to death in the country. This aid does go to mitigate hunger problems, but it also feeds the regime, which in turn has more opportunities to commit human rights violations. Breaking this vicious cycle is key, but it seems that that will only come with the downfall of Kim Jeong-il...which isn't anytime in the near future.
--Jeeyoon Yu, C'11