A doctor named Kim Ji-eun, another of Demick's primary sources, dealt with famine victims firsthand and provided testimony eerily paralleling Mi-ran's: As a 28-year-old pediatrician at a small district hospital, Kim noticed severe wasting (in which the body eats its own muscle tissue) among many of the children. "They would look at me with accusing eyes. Even four-year-olds knew they were dying and that I wasn't doing anything to help them," Kim told Demick. "All I was capable of doing was to cry with their mothers over the bodies afterward." Her hospital became so strapped that it remained unheated, bandages were fashioned from cut-up bedding, and beer bottles substituted for IV pouches.
I wish I knew the best way (or any way) to alleviate the suffering of the North Korean people, particularly those who are unlucky enough to have a bad sôngbun.