The Korea Herald


North Korea has 3rd-highest air pollution-related deaths

By Jo He-rim

Published : Dec. 20, 2019 - 17:47

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North Korea ranked No. 3 in the rate of deaths related to air pollution, according to a new report Friday.

Radio Free Asia said North Korea recorded 202 pollution-related deaths per 100,000 population, in a report “Pollution and Health Metrics” released on Wednesday by Global Alliance on Health and Pollution. The communist country was ranked behind Chad and Central African Republic, which stood at 287 and 251 deaths per 100,000, respectively.

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In North Korea, 51,391 died due to pollution, according to the report. Among them, 38,768 died due to air pollution, 7,804 of pollution related to their occupation and 4,415 of lead poisoning. Those who died of water pollution stood at 404.

Jack Caravanos, who is in charge of research at the GAPH attributed it to North Korea’s high dependence on coal power plants.

“The main cause of air pollution is burning coals, and it’s the major energy source in North Korea. In fact, North Korea is building more coal power plants,” Caravanos told RFA.

The serious forest damage, which led to bare mountains in the communist state was also a factor that worsened air pollution, the researcher added.

By Jo He-rim (