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N. Korea calls for efforts to prevent wildfire amid dry weather

All News 11:12 November 11, 2020

SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is making all-out efforts to prevent forest fires, state media said Wednesday, as the dry weather puts the country's deforestation problem at greater risk.

"Efforts to protect forests, including forest fire prevention, are under way as part of nationwide patriotic efforts," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The North has strengthened patrol in the forest areas and tightened rules for visitors during the fall season, the KCNA added.

It then called on all cities and provinces to join the nationwide campaign, saying that preventing wildfires is a way to "protect the forest, land, ecology and the economy."

The North is known for severe deforestation, which accelerated in the 1990s when a severe famine battered the impoverished nation and forced people to cut down trees for fuel and farmland.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has urged efforts to restore the forests since he came to power, ordering the construction of greenhouse farms and tree nurseries across the country and making field inspections to check on the progress.

Pyongyang appears to be putting all effort into the campaign, as deforestation can cause greater damage when natural disasters such as flooding and landslides hit the country. It recently suffered from heavy rainfall and back-to-back typhoons in September and October.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un talks to officials during a visit to the Jungphyong Vegetable Greenhouse Farm and Tree Nursery under construction in Kyongsong County, northeastern North Korea, in this photo provided by the Korean Central News Agency on Oct. 18, 2019. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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