As much as half of North Korea's army is starving as food shortages that were previously affecting only the civilian population worsen and begin to affect institutions tasked with protecting Kim Jong-Il's regime.

Disaffected North Koreans working secretly as journalists within the country for the Japan-based Asiapress International news agency have smuggled out video footage of interviews with soldiers in different parts of the isolated country, with many complaining of malnutrition.

Asked how many of the men in his unit are experiencing malnutrition, one young conscript said it is as high as 50 per cent in the spring....."And it will get worse after a while," another soldier said. "After the potatoes are harvested, we only have seven small potatoes for one meal."...The soldier indicated that each potato is only the size of his thumb.

"The shortage of food is not only in this unit," he said. "Food shortages and malnutrition are rampant among all troops.".....One officer charged with regional security for the government said that their rations for one meal weighted 100 grams, or just 3.5 ounces.