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The Korea Now Podcast

Sep 29, 2019

This episode of the Korea Now podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Edward Reed. They speak about the North Korean famine years in the mid-1990s, the conditions that cleaved together to produce this disaster, the failures of the North Korean regime leading up to, and responding to, the famine, the unique and constrained conditions that international aid agencies found themselves dealing with when responding to the crisis, the state control that persisted at the time, the conditions that have led to North Korea still being food insecure 25 years later, the cycles of agricultural boom and bust that are still under operation, the failures of the farming sector to properly reform itself, the ideological mistakes being made, and importantly a model from which North Korea can become food secure into the future.

Edward Reed is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Asian Institute of Management in Manila. He was Korea Country Representative for The Asia Foundation from 2004 to 2012. Before that he served as North Korea Country Director for World Vision International and Northeast Asia Quaker International Affairs Representative for the American Friends Service Committee. He was Research Director at the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction in the Philippines from 1979 to 1985. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Korea in the early 1970s. He has held teaching positions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and more recently in Korea at Kyung Hee University and KDI School of Public Policy and Management. He holds an MA in Agricultural Economics and a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Wisconsin. He currently resides in the Philippines. Pertinent to this podcast, Ed is the author of: ‘Agricultural Development in South and North Korea: Common Challenges, Different Outcomes’ (, ‘From Charity to Partnership: South Korean NGO Engagement with North Korea’ (, and ‘Is Korea's Saemaul Undong a Model for Developing Countries Today’ (


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