WPIt wasn’t unusual for people to disappear; they were dying by the thousands, maybe millions. But dark rumors were spreading, too horrifying to believe, too persistent to ignore. “Don’t buy any meat if you don’t know where it comes from,” one Chongjin woman whispered to a friend, who later defected and recounted the conversation to the reporter Barbara Demick for her book, “Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea.” Fear of cannibalism, like the famine supposedly driving it, spread. People avoided the meat in streetside soup vendors and warned children not to be alone at night. At least one person in Chongjin was arrested and executed for eating human flesh. One defected military officer, who fled with his family into China, repeated the horror story that had long followed mass famines. “People are going insane with hunger. They even kill and eat their own infants. This kind of thing is happening in many places,” he said, according to the North Korea-focused postscript to Jasper Becker’s history of the famine that wracked China 30 years earlier, in which reports of cannibalism were widespread. North Korea’s famine is over, but the stories of desperate men and women, driven so insane by starvation that they consume their own children, have resurfaced. Last week, Asia Press published a report alleging that thousands recently died of starvation in a North Korean province, a trend that is sometimes called a micro-famine. According to Rimjingang’s sources, the famine, like others before it, had led to cannibalism. One man, they said, had been arrested and executed for killing and eating his children.

Really puts things in perspective, no? Closed-minded loud mouths on both sides of the isle are having daily screaming matches about taxes and national debt while on the other side of the planet mom & dad are cooking up a steaming pot of Middle Son Stew so they don’t starve to death.

Damn shame North Korea spent all of the people’s corn and gruel money to pay three CGI guys from Devry to create that nuclear weapon video yesterday. It was obviously worth it since the entire world now fears and respects North Korea’s totally-believable military capabilities, just sucks they couldn’t avoid half of the country going all Walking Dead on the elementary schools. Oh well, you live and you learn.

Unless you starve to death or get eaten by your parents, I guess.