September 26, 2023

How illegal North Korean farms could fend off the next famine

Private hillside fields known as ‘sotoji’ have long been a major source of sustenance but undercut reforestation efforts

North Korea marked its annual Tree-planting Day on Tuesday mobilizing workers across the country to plant saplings in depleted forests as part of a long-running reforestation campaign.

But while leader Kim Jong Un has made the project a priority, the planting campaigns have long come into conflict with the practice of using hillside areas in the countryside for private farms known as “sotoji.”