The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) yesterday reported on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s most recent field guidance, this time to a mobile solar-powered fish farm on Pyongyang’s Taedong River.
NK News obtained photographs of the structure prior to Kim’s visit, which show a relatively small network of floating pontoons around a central structure.
The new facility sits in the middle of Pyongyang’s river and is visible to the north of Juche Tower.
“(Kim Jong Un) showed high appreciation of the fact that the ground distributed silver carps, Ryongjong fish, carps and shellfish in different layers, taking into consideration the characteristic features of fishes whose condition varies according to depth of water,” the KCNA article reads.
Like many recently constructed facilities in North Korea, the new mobile fish farm includes arrays of solar panels along its roof.
The KCNA article does not make clear if the new farm is a one off or a pilot project, though adds it is a breeding ground for “silver carps, Ryongjong fish, carps and shellfish.”
In his most recent new year’s address Kim Jong Un highlighted fisheries, and has even dedicated military personnel to improving the industry.
A recent report from the Daily NK claims that he has even gone as far as to foreign sales of North Korean fishery products, by far the country’s largest food export according to Chinese customs data.
“(Fish farming) is very economic and cost effective; many socialist countries tend to build fish farms in ponds or rivers. Inland fisheries are still the big thing in some Asian countries,” Kwon Tae-jin from GS&J Institute in Seoul told NK News.
Fish do not consume as much grain as chickens or pigs, which makes them a good candidate for farming in the DPRK, where cereals can be relatively hard to come by.
Nonetheless the positioning of mobile fish farm, in the center of North Korea’s most urban area is an odd choice, according to Kwon.
“I don’t really see the reason why one would ever think of building a fish farm in the middle of Taedong River, as pollution would affect most of the fish, and also the farm itself would pollute the river.”
Additional reporting by JH Ahn
Images: NK News