I've seen this image multiple times thrown around in social media. It purportedly shows malnourished kids in North Korea.

enter image description here

I could not find a reputable source for this image using Google image search, only blogs. Is this image truly showing North Korean kids? What is the original source for it?

1 Answer 1


This photo was taken during the 1997 famine in North Korea by Justin Kilcullen, director of the Irish Catholic charity Trócaire.

A period news report says:

The Irish delegation met a member of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee and two vice-ministers, said Mr Kilcullen. They raised issues of human rights, arms sales and economic policies.

Trocaire last month shipped its first consignment of aid to North Korea, 3,750 tonnes of rice which has arrived from Vietnam.

Thanks in part to international support, the famine ended in 1998. According to numerous international organizations, North Korean living standards have improved significantly since 1998.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Oddthinking
    Oct 11, 2017 at 1:33
  • 4
    FYI, the famine actually lasted several years (1994-1998), with 1997 having the most starvation deaths. Flooding '94-'96, drought in '97, lack of established trade with other countries, and deliberately uneven food distribution made the famine as long and severe as it was (estimated 240k-3.5m deaths out of 22m). International intervention and better weather eventually ended it. Oct 12, 2017 at 12:32

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