How North Korean mining has left a toxic legacy for the country’s people
Satellite imagery shows a lack of safeguards has led to contamination of rivers and soil and endangered human health
Despite its small size, North Korea is a mineral-rich nation with a wide range of commercially important ores. Mining is thus a pillar of the national economy, employing an estimated 1.1 million people and providing raw materials for domestic manufacturing, as well as coal, gold and other minerals for export abroad.
But mining is by nature a destructive process that can significantly harm the environment and human health, and the DPRK appears to do little to manage and mitigate these risks, making its mining industry notoriously dangerous.
“Economic imperatives to sell minerals as one of North
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