Impact of Nuclear Tests on Deforestation in North Korea using Google Earth-Based Spatial Images
- Junghoon Ki Minki Sung Choongik Choi
- 제22권 제6호
- 등재여부 : KCI등재
- 563 - 573 (11 pages)
The North Korean government conducted its first nuclear test in 2006 and more recently the sixth nuclear test on September 3, 2017. In order to identify how North Korea s nuclear tests have affected the environment, a scientific approach is required. Although North Korea’s nuclear tests and their environmental destruction are not a severe threat to the environment of the Korean Peninsula at this time, identifying environmental damage and taking countermeasures in advance are essential to minimize their potential threats to the environments. The purpose of this study is to study the environmental impact of North Korea’s nuclear tests using Google Earth image analysis. As a method of the study, we compare Google Earth images taken before and after each nuclear test was conducted in North Korea. To overcome limitations of the suggested comparison method, we cross-checked our results with those of previous scientific research. After the 1st-3rd nuclear tests, green spaces were found to be considerably reduced. In particular, when comparing the Google Earth images before and after the second nuclear test, some ground subsidences were observed. Such subsidences can cause tunnels on the mountainsides and cracks in rocks around the mountains, leading to the release of radioactive materials and contaminating groundwater. Besides, after the 4th-6th nuclear tests, decay and deforestation were observed not in the nuclear test sites, but in their surrounding areas. Especially after the 5th and 6th nuclear tests, the topography and the forests of the surrounding areas were severely damaged. In relation to North Korea’s nuclear tests and their impact on the natural environment, we need to prepare various policy measures to reduce North Korea s environmental pollution and natural environment destruction. Those policy measures include the establishment of various cooperative governance between the Korean government, the private sector, the academia, NGOs, and international organizations.
Results and Discussion