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Forest devastation in the North Korean border area found to be serious'접경지역 북한 산림 황폐화 심각'

[The Hwankyung Ilbo] Deforestation in the North Korean border area has been found to be serious. The Green Korea, which released related materials, pointed out that sustainable forest restoration measures on the Korean peninsula are necessary.

The Green Korea announced the results of a survey on the actual situation of North Korean forest devastation north of the Northern Limit Line of the DMZ since 2006. It is forest depletion data covering all nine regions of North Korea that meet the DMZ.

​North Korean deforestation is confirmed from the beginning of the DMZ on the western front. The North Korean region (Gaesoeng City) opposite the Imjin River in Paju, where the DMZ begins, has no trees or forests. From here, the actual deforestation is confirmed in various places along the Northern Limit Line northward. The mountains around Sacheon river are all bare mountains.

The same is true of the mountain areas around Gaeseong Industrial Complex. Behind the Northern Limit Line, there are almost no trees and forests remaining in the mountains. The situation of Yeoncheon-gun, located at the northern end of Gyeonggi-do, is similar. The whole northern part of the demilitarized zone is turned into grassland.

The forest cannot be seen even if it goes to the mountain behind the Northern Limit Line. There are places where you can only see clay or mountain climbing fields.

Korea has transformed desolate forests into green forests through a long-term restoration policy of the central government. On the other hand, North Korea is suffering from economic difficulties and energy problems, and the forest is being increasingly devastated by excessive use of forests.

Particularly, North Korea, where most of the area is a forest area, has indiscriminately cleared mountain areas where the slopes are somewhat gentle to secure scarce arable land. In addition, all the trees in the mountains were used as firewood, and excessive shredding was done for foreign currency earning.

The problem is that forest shortages lead to disaster damage. North Korea is suffering from chronic landslides along with floods and droughts.

“The North Korean forest devastation measures are the areas where the government will invest in full-scale funding for long-term interchange in inter-Korean exchanges,” the Green Korea said. “It is more urgent than to build industrial complexes and construct roads, railways and ports in North Korea.”

조수빈 리포터  press@hkbs.co.kr

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