Dirty Fuel Chokes the DPRK—And Its Neighbors

A dearth of cleaner alternatives and infrastructure improvements underscore worries that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un will continue to push coal as the country’s primary power source despite swelling air pollution.

North Korea’s 2012 air pollution mortality rate topped those of China and India. It was also nearly 10 times that of neighboring South Korea, which routinely suffers spillover of toxic air.

Despite acknowledging that coal contributes to air pollution, citizens are focused on more urgent issues: “We won’t die right away from eating dust, but we do if we don’t eat food,” says defector and activist Ji Cheol-ho.

Thomson Reuters Foundation


 

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