By the Blouin News World staff

North Korea swagger belies food insecurity

by in Asia-Pacific.

Pomegranate seeds. (Source: Michelle Tribe/flickr)

Pomegranate seeds. (Source: Michelle Tribe/flickr)

When North Korea launches nuclear missiles of any kind, thoughts of doomsday may not be far behind, Pyongang’s track record for failed attempts notwithstanding. Thursday’s failed launch of two test fires of intermediate-range missiles is no exception, in part because it comes so soon after a failed missile launch in mid-April. U.S. President Barack Obama said this week that the U.S. is repositioning its missile defense system in reaction to the “low-level” threats coming from North Korea. Indeed, low-level or not, nuclear tests by a isolated, authoritarian government, headed by the volatile Kim Jong-un, are right to worry global leaders. More specifically, they also serve as an important reminder of the need for measures to preserve life should mass destruction occur, for example the creation and maintenance of seed vaults.

Take the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The facility, located on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, houses duplicate samples of seeds held in other gene banks around the world. The Crop Trust, a non-profit which manages the vault, announced in mid-April that it had secured pledges totaling about $150 million — double its core funds. (The Crop Trust established the seed vault with funds from the Norwegian government and help from the Nordic Genetic Resource Center.)…

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