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North Korea

NPR's Rob Gifford reports from Pyongyang that Secretary of State Albright's trip to North Korea this week afforded a rare glimpse of the isolated country and its grinding poverty. Women in a rural area were seen sweeping up precious grains of rice from the roadway, evidence of the country's on-going food shortage. And in the capital, medical personnel in the freezing cold main hospital were forced to use beer bottles to construct intravenous systems. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il in recent months has been reaching out to western countries, possibly because of the country's need for economic assistance.

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