Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Kim Jong Un: Wanted, Dead or Alive

Kim Jong Un hasn't been seen in public since April 11. While the occasional absence isn't unusual, he missed the April 15 "Day of the Sun" holiday for the first time ever. The Day of the Sun celebrates the birth of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, who founded the state. It's a very important holiday in North Korea and his lack of attendance sent the worldwide rumor mill into motion. Each day since has only added confusion and intensified the mystery.

Does he have coronavirus? Did he have a heart attack? Is being held hostage as his sister or uncle orchestrate a coup with the help of powerful generals? Maybe he's just tired of being in the spotlight all the time and needs a break? Or perhaps he was injured by flying shrapnel during an artillery exercise?

The speculation surrounding his health began in earnest when the DailyNK published a report based on a single unnamed source that claimed Kim had undergone a heart procedure at a special hospital based in Hyangsan and is recuperating.

Within about 48 hours, even reputable media descended into saying he was gravely ill or brain dead, and that a crisis was about to unfold. None of that, absolutely none of it, was supported by the initial report. Since then, some have even gone so far as to claim he's actually dead. And the usual suspects like Gordon Chang have jumped at the opportunity to stir the pot.

North Korea is already a very opaque state and they are not in the habit of publicly discussing the health of their supreme leader. Why should they? It would only invite internal dissent, discredit the idea that the Kim's are somehow special humans, and could court disaster from both within and without. So there has been no direct reference to either his health or whereabouts by state media.

With some notable exceptions, the international press has generally not made things any clearer. Their instance on speculation and running with the most sensationalist headlines has only served to make the waters more murky and caused many people a lot of unnecessary stress, as they add concerns over "lose nukes" to the already considerable stress caused by the global pandemic.

So what, exactly, are the facts? What do we know or at least what is most probable given the evidence?

Two weeks after his disappearance from public view, both the United States and South Korea have made claims that Kim is indeed alive and that he is staying at his seaside palace in Wonsan.

The general consensus of more rational media sources, unnamed officials, and official statements paints this picture: sometime in April Kim had a medical procedure and has since been resting in Wonsan.

Even the unverified claim that a Chinese medical delegation was sent in to help isn't unusual. From Muammar Gadaffi to Kim Jong Il, dictators with limited access to advanced medical equipment and expertise often seek the aid of foreign doctors. Indeed, Kim Jong Un was seen by a French doctor in 2014.

When it comes to what we know (or is most probable), that's basically it.

Lending support to that picture is the fact that commercial satellite imagery has shown one of Kim's armored trains parked at Wonsan since at least April 21. This also makes sense because in the original report from DailyNK, they said he had been recovering at a villa near Pyongyang immediately after surgery. After spending a week or so at that villa, he may be feeling well enough to venture to his favorite home.

Wonsan is not just the best equipped seaside residence in North Korea, it happens to be the place where Kim spent much of his youth outside of Pyongyang and Switzerland.

However, that alone is not conclusive evidence of anything as Kim is said to have at least three trains. His movements are always tightly guarded, and a second train will be used as decoy to help obfuscate his real movements (something he learned from his father). However, lending more credibility to the idea that he's in Wonsan comes from a report which cites an unnamed US official who said that Kim was spotted (via US reconnaissance aircraft) walking outside between April 15 and 20.

Additionally, Moon Chung-in, adviser to the South Korean president, has said that the official position of the ROK government is that Kim is "alive and well". As recently as April 27, President Trump has said that he knows the status of Kim and did not give any indication that he was dead or no longer able to govern the country.

It's important to remember that this is not the first time Kim has gone missing. He disappeared for about six weeks in 2014 after having an apparent procedure done on his ankle.

Kim Jong Un isn't the best example of health. Although he is only 36 years old, he is morbidly obese and is a heavy smoker. Adding to that is a family history of cardiovascular disease and stroke. So it's perfectly understandable for people to wonder about his health. What isn't normal is for journalists to gleefully speculate about his current condition as though it were fact.

There is nothing in any valid public source that would indicate anything more than he is in recovery.

And while I am personally content to read the tea leaves and wait until he shows back up (his dad went missing for nearly two months after his stroke), I am also getting tired of seeing extravagant speculation and rumor spreading. It may have made April slightly more exciting as I (like many of us) sit at home, forbidden to visit favorite restaurants or friends, but it has also consumed an inordinate amount of time to tamp down wild theories.

This is a view I believe I share with many other analysts. Yes, we're all very curious, but one can only say for certain what one knows. And the only ones who know much of anything right now are Kim Jong Un and his associates.

Dead or alive, it's only a matter of time before we know the facts. Turning what could be a simple heart procedure into a sordid dynastic succession struggle between Kim, his sister, and his uncle may make people click on links, but it does little to advance the cause of truth and violates the trust media, analysts, and other experts are supposed to engender.

I would like to thank my current Patreon supporters: Amanda O., GreatPoppo, Kbechs87, Planefag, Russ Johnson, and Travis Murdock.

--Jacob Bogle, 4/27/2020

Saturday, April 25, 2020

UN Report Shows Continued Illicit Oil Imports

Illegal ship-to-ship transfer of petroleum product between the Vifine and New Konk on June 19, 2019. (UN POE report, page 20.)

The 2020 United Nations' Panel of Experts (POE) report on North Korea's illicit trading activities has added further understanding to how North Korea has been able to continue building gas stations across the country.

Back in 2019 I did the first-ever survey (that I'm aware of) of DPRK gas station construction and it showed that at least 74 fueling sites had been built under the rule of Kim Jong Un. I have most recently been able to identify a total of 122 gas stations in the country (built before and since Kim Jong Un).

By examining the fueling tanks at a gas station in Wonsan, we can derive a rough estimate for how much gas would be required to keep all 122 stations operational if they were only required to be refueled once a month.

The tanks, located at 39° 8'32.42"N 127°23'8.17"E, are clearly visible on the Google Earth image dated Jan. 30, 2014. They are each approx. 32 ft long and 7 ft wide. That yields a volume of 1,231.5 cubic feet. For the sake of being conservative and to take into consideration the unknown thickness of the tank's walls, I am going to deduct 10% from that figure (giving us 1,108.3 cubic feet).

The weight of a cubic foot of gasoline is 46.75 pounds, giving each tank the capacity of 51,813 pounds of fuel (or 7,733 gallons at 6.7 pounds per gallon).

Gas stations have a variable number of storage tanks, some only have one and others have four or more. Simply assuming an average of two tanks for each 122 identified station, the country has the need for 1,886,852 gallons of fuel each month. If we use the 42 gallon per barrel measurement, then that's 44,925 barrels of gasoline needed each month, or 539,100 barrels annually just for vehicle fueling. There's still the need for aviation fuel and other petroleum products needed in transportation and industry.

North Korea is limited to importing 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum products each year.

The POE report says that the "aggregate amount of 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum products was exceeded many times over." (page 4). As part of the report, estimates from the United States suggest that North Korea imported anywhere from 3 to 8 times the legal cap (or 1.5 million to 4 million barrels of illegal petroleum).

The amount of petroleum being brought into the country would more than justify the continued construction of gas stations. Looking at fuel prices over time also suggests that the country is able to import (through whatever means) enough product to meet demand.

In Dec. 2018, fuel prices were around 15,000 won ($1.86) per kilogram. According to the most recent market trend report from DailyNK, gas prices had dropped to 11,500 won per kg. ($1.34) in April 2020. This also implies that trade in the most crucial supplies has not been severely affected by the coronavirus measures North Korea has put into place. Most trade has been stopped, but it was never fully ended and illicit activities continue regardless of the reported decline in legal oil imports from China.

I would like to thank my current Patreon supporters: Amanda O., GreatPoppo, Kbechs87, Planefag, Russ Johnson, and Travis Murdock.

--Jacob Bogle, 4/24/2020

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

City Planning in the DPRK

Downtown area of the reconstructed Samjiyon. Off in the distance is a bronze statue of Kim Il Sung and "revolutionary history" museums at the base of the hill. (KCNA, 2019)

Plenty of people are familiar with Pyongyang and even other major cities in North Korea, but most of the population lives outside of the capital, Wonsan, and Sinuiju. Car ownership is still rare in North Korea, so even in Pyongyang, it doesn't take very long to find yourself on winding, narrow dirt paths. But the layout of streets is only one part to city planning.

The majority of the housing, stores, and schools in my hometown is in an area roughly 5 x 5 miles. That's a city with about 150,000 people. There are 14 North Korean cities with a population of 150,000 or greater. Excluding Pyongyang, the urban areas of those other 13 cities all fit within an area smaller than 5 x 5 miles.

And even Pyongyang, with 2 million people living in the main urban area, only occupies about 67 square miles. That is almost the same area as the federal district of Washington DC, which has a third of Pyongyang's population. This underscores the realities of how densely cities develop when cars aren't the "driving force" vs. how cities grow when vehicle ownership is viewed as a personal imperative. The result of that is North Korea lacks a lot of the urban sprawl that plagues many other countries.

Main urban area of Pyongyang.

Where you place important buildings, markets, or stadiums, it all matters, and it all says something about what the people and government find most important. This is all the more important when you're dealing with a walking and biking population.

City plans place what is important to the regime in the center and then from there follows places that would be important to the people (like small business districts that may have stores, a restaurant or two, and maybe a small hotel). To help us understand the overall city planning fundamentals in North Korea, I am going to detail two county seats, a smaller town, and then an even smaller village.

County seats follow two general layouts. A compact core of civic buildings and monuments around central plaza or a more spread out design where citizens encounter reminders of the state at multiple points throughout the city. The main difference between county seats and provincial capitals is that each provincial capital will also host large, bronze statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Otherwise they tend to simply be enlarged versions of county seats with more industrial sites, more local businesses, and the occasional university.

Kophung, Chaggang Province is an example of the "compact" design.

As you can see, the main roads of Kophung channel people passed important reminders of regime power like the Juche Study Hall and the Tower of Immortality. The town hall is, of course, centrally located as well. Another thing to note is how far away the marketplace is.

While it's certainly within walking, it has been placed on the outskirts of town, something that is repeated in many of other locations. This is because most markets began as unofficial, even illegal, gatherings of people trading, bartering, buying, and selling. Some would be little more than an open area of ground where people would bring their goods, while others had small tents or other temporary structures placed at the site during the day or two the market was open.

As markets were slowly incorporated into the daily lives of most citizens, they became tolerated and then eventually regulated by the state. This allowed permanent structures to be built and they tended to be built where the informal market was already located - in the outskirts or other less desirable places.

Generally speaking, markets are also located some distance away from any key state symbols (like monuments), as they are somewhat regarded as an ideological stain (albeit one to accept). You can't have a blazing example of capitalism and individual freedom next to a monument to the communist "Sun of Mankind", Kim Il Sung.

In this close-up image, you can see that the line-of-sight from any direction you come, lands on the Tower of Immortality. These were first erected following the death of Kim Il Sung as monuments to his life and to reflect that his spirit will always remain. Indeed, Kim Il Sung is legally the "Eternal President" of the DPRK. The inscriptions on the towers were changed to include Kim Jong Il after he died. He is the "eternal" General Secretary of the Korean Workers' Party.

Additionally, every county seat (and provincial capital) have joint murals of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. During my 2018 survey of the country's monuments, I was able to identify 5,175 Towers and 265 joint murals.

Like elsewhere in the world, cities will usually keep their small industrial sites away from the city center. Many county seats also lack a stadium or dedicated sports field, but they will use the fields at schools. For those that do have a stadium, they are likewise set out away from the urban core.

Sepo, Kangwon Province is an example of the "spread out" design.

With the city of Sepo, the regime-focused structures are spread throughout the city, instead of in a single cluster. From the image's perspective, moving north from the train station (which is how most people arrive into town), there is a direct line of sight to the Tower of Immortality, and from there, to the town hall.

If someone travels down either of the main left-to-right roads, the joint murals will be visible at one end and the Juche Study Hall at the other (which happens to be surrounded by two grade schools. One is marked in the above image and the second is marked on the image below).

Every town has at least one "Juche Study Hall", they go by a number of different names including, palace of culture and Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism study hall. These basically play the equivalent role of churches in Europe and the Americas in centuries past. Centrally located, this is where people are required to go multiple times a month (at least) to be indoctrinated in the latest Party orders, to learn about the exploits of the leadership, and to hold "self-criticism" sessions.

Instead of struggling through alcoholism and freely talking about your journey in a safe environment, as in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, self-criticism sessions could be described as meetings holding each other accountable for "wrong thought". But it goes much further than that. Everyone fails Kim Jong Un. Everyone holds thoughts incompatible with Juche. Everyone didn't try hard enough to study their best or to meet their quotas during work. Everyone fails and everyone is expected to come up with something to confess, whether or not they really did it.

And instead of being supported by their community, they are shouted down or accused by everyone in the group. These sessions can last hours, and defectors have spoken about the emotional trauma they cause.

Hwanggang-ri, N. Hwanghae Province is an example of a smaller town (38°20'16.79"N 126°47'8.90"E)

Hwanggang-ri is a small town with fewer than 2,000 people in the immediate area. It has a single, combined school where the elementary school and high school are within the same complex. From the perspective of this image, to the north of the Tower is the town hall and below the Tower label is a row of four buildings.

Each North Korean town has a medical clinic. Unlike schools or Juche buildings, these clinics don't always have a uniform style that is easily identifiable from satellite images. (Large hospitals are more easily discernible, but they're only in large cities anyway.)

In some places, the clinic is located inside the town hall and in others, a stand-alone building exists for the clinic. These clinics only offer basic health care functions, similar to a walk-in clinic that a pharmacy might have in western countries. They can diagnose a cold, give you something for a fever, stitch up a cut finger, or pop a shoulder back into place. They are not for MRIs or open-heart surgery. And given the state of North Korean healthcare overall, you probably won't find any antibiotics readily available, either.

A town this size is large enough to have a clinic, but whether it's in the town hall or in one of those four buildings, I can't say.

Unphyong-ri, Chaggang Province, is an example of a small village (40°52'51.36"N 125°46'20.17"E)

Even in small villages with only a couple hundred people, where having a separate building for Juche studies doesn't make sense, there is still a Tower, a town hall, and a school nearby. That simple organizational style is repeated in almost every populated place in the country. Only the smallest hamlets lack these things.

In the most rural parts of the country, schools are simple and may require a long walk, but it underscores the importance of basic education. Most students may only receive a limited education, but reading and basic math are fundamental to any functional society. 

As we have seen recently with the city of Samjyon, cities can be completely redesigned, demolished, and then rebuilt in the new design on the whim of the country's leadership. And many larger cities have had parts of their cores rebuilt or modernized at the direction of Kim Jong Un and through the national Korean Workers' Party. But local additions must be requested, approved by higher authorities, materials assigned, and then finally the buildings can be constructed. This means that a village might not see a single new home or even a repaired home for many years. Indeed, no new homes are visible in Unphyong-ri since 2009 and only two new homes were built in Hwanggang-ri since 2002.

And as we have seen here, no matter the size of the locale, there will always be a recognizable pattern in the plans of each city and village. They will place regime buildings and monuments in high visibility areas, schools will (often) be nearby, and signs of capitalism will be pushed to the side if possible.

Additional reading
A brief urban history of Pyongyang, North Korea - and how it might develop under capitalism, The Architect's Newspaper, by Dongwoo Yim, Aug. 24, 2017

I would like to thank my current Patreon supporters: Amanda O., GreatPoppo, Kbechs87, Planefag, Russ Johnson, and Travis Murdock.

--Jacob Bogle, 4/14/2020

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Kim Jong Un's Green Agenda

Workers cleaning rooftop solar panels on a building in Pyongyang. Image: KCNA, 2019

North Korea is a land full of bucolic views and industrious people. It also suffers from river pollution, air pollution in Pyongyang, and a never-ending shortage of electricity, which hampers every aspect of domestic and industrial life.

Most countries have embarked on developing a green economy and a green energy supply to fuel economic growth. This has been spurred on by the dangers of climate change and the realization that easily accessible fossil fuels are getting harder and harder to find.

To address climate change, every country on earth (including North Korea) signed the Paris Agreement. Long seen as an outsider to the global community, North Korea is still a signatory, whereas the United States has pulled out.

And to address ever growing energy needs, the world has heavily invested in renewable energy sources. Since 2000-2001, global consumption of traditional fuels fell from 12,500 TWh to 10,895 TWh (as of 2017). In the same time frame, consumption of renewables like hydroelectric, solar, and wind more than doubled from 2,817 TWh to 6,232 TWh.

While North Korea is technically classified as an industrialized country, most of the people live in poor economic conditions. Other countries face similar problems. They have a growing population and a need for more electricity (but at levels that still fall far behind western countries). At the same time, they often lack the funds to build advanced and cleaner versions of coal plants which can cost many billions of dollars, and they lack the healthcare infrastructure needed to address the illnesses associated with mining and burning fossil fuels.

And this is where the drive to fight climate change and the drive to improve energy and economic conditions merge. In per capita terms of "kilograms of oil equivalent" North Korean's use approximately 1/15th as much energy as Americans. This means fewer TVs and energy intensive refrigerators. It means that homes outside of major cities may only have a radio, a few light bulbs, and an electric rice cooker. Thus, these homes don't require huge sums of electricity, so many are turning to solar and going "off the grid".

After generations of focusing on massive energy producing projects, North Korea seems to be switching tactics and creating a patchwork energy grid. Large coal and hydroelectric plants to service primary industry and the major cities, and smaller hydroelectric dams along with limited solar and wind to support less populated areas. As for the individual, they're also getting into the act as mentioned above. This network has the potential to greatly ease the country's electricity problems as well as address matters of climate change.

North Korea's behavior isn't only changing how it gets electricity, but it is also tackling longstanding problems with deforestation, and the floods and landslides they bring. Combating this problem will not only affect the environment but will also help alleviate food shortages and enable the government to spend money elsewhere, instead of rebuilding cities after major floods.

Wind Power

Two wind turbines at Ongjin, dated Nov. 25, 2019.

One of the oldest wind farms in North Korea is near the Ongjin Airfield and consists of two separate  groups of two wind turbines. Both sites have existed since at least 2009.

In 2009, the Korean Central News Agency reported that thousands of home-use wind turbines had been installed around the country. There is some photographic evidence for this, but little satellite-based support. Unfortunately, these turbines are indeed very small and may not be visible in most commercial satellite imagery, so it is difficult to independently gauge just how widespread home-based installations are.

There are at least four other wind farms in North Korea. The newest installation I could find is in the rebuilt city of Samjiyon. There is also a small solar farm, and both are located at the top of the ski resort.

Changes in hydroelectricity production

North Korea has its share of relatively large hydroelectric dams, with some dating to the Japanese colonial era. Several run along the Yalu River at their northern border and others are located inland like the Songwon Dam and Ryesonggang Youth Power Station No. 1. However, North Korea's attempts to build large hydroelectric dams have run into many problems and delayed construction. The final results rarely yielding the levels of electricity generation expected. Other smaller, older hydroelectric facilities (like along the Taedong River) have also fallen short of their generating capacity and are now primarily used during planting and harvest seasons to assist in irrigation and powering up agricultural facilities.

In the last decade, Kim Jong Un has been carrying out "new" agendas that were initiated by his father, and shifted the country's hydroelectric plans toward more small and medium-sized hydroelectric facilities that can also better control river flows and water supplies for irrigation.

These projects include multiple dams along the Ryesong River and the Huichon series along the Chongchon River. There was also an effort to build scores of "low-head" power generating stations that pre-dates Kim Jong Un's efforts but have proven the effectiveness of smaller dams and generating sites in adding up to lots of energy generation while not requiring vast sums of material, and they can be built in less than optimal river systems (located primarily in South Hamgyong Province).

One of the most recent hydroelectric series to be completed is the Paektusan Hero Youth Power Stations. Other series that Kim Jong Un managed to complete have been the Wonsan People-Army Power Stations and the Wonsan Youth Power Stations which have six generating plants between them.

Combined facilities

A great example of the push toward renewables is the KPA Air Force Unit 1016 combined wind-solar farm, located near Kawil, S. Hwanghae Province. Initially it was just a wind farm with three medium-sized turbines with construction beginning in 2010. In 2015, a 5,545 sq. meter solar farm was added to the site. It is the largest combined facility in the country.

A second facility is located along the 4.6 km long conveyor system of the Unnyul mine and associated land reclamation project. This facility only has a single wind turbine, but its solar farm is larger than Kawil's at a little over 18,000 sq. m. Primary construction was carried out from 2015 to 2016, and the site powers eight apartment blocks and a dozen or so other buildings, as well as an industrial site.

Reforestation efforts

Before and after images of tree replanting efforts from 2003 and 2018. In the bottom image you can rows of planted trees in the formerly bare hillside.

Deforestation has been recognized as a major contributing factor to flooding and the 1990s famine by the regime since the days of Kim Jong Il. Denuded hillsides can't hold on to soil, making landslides more common and increases runoff into rivers - choking them and killing fish in the process. Fewer trees mean an increase in top soil depletion and airborne dust. And fewer trees mean a lack of needed firewood and decreases the richness of local ecosystems. People rely on native herbs, fungus, and small animals for food and commerce, and without forests, those ecosystems and opportunities disappear.

Between 1990 and 2005, North Korea lost nearly a quarter of its forest cover and it has become a major problem. While the country is still experiencing a net loss of tree cover, there is now an ongoing effort to replant trees.

In 2015 Kim Jong Un gave a speech on reforestation efforts. In his speech he recognized that uncontrolled deforestation has been ongoing, that there has been a lack of preventative measures to stop forest fires, and that "as the mountains are sparsely wooded, even a slightly heavy rain in the rainy season causes flooding and landslides and rivers dry up in the dry season; this greatly hinders
conducting economic construction and improving people's standard of living..."

Tree planting efforts date to 1946 with the annual "Tree Planting Day" each March, but there is little evidence that these single day events did much to ameliorate the situation during the rapid deforestation that occurred in the 1990s or to replant meaningful numbers of trees since then. Kim Jong Un's critical recognition of the problem, however, is a sign that the state is going to take the problem of deforestation and wildfires much more seriously, especially considering the mix of both extreme drought and damaging floods the country faces - which tree cover levels can play a major role in.

In Kim's 2015 speech he gave a ten-year goal to reforest the country's mountains. Efforts to achieve this goal includes the establishment of scores of tree nurseries across the country that can, theoretically, produce 20-25 million trees annually. The regime has also begun to crackdown on the illegal private farms that dot the hillsides and have played a role in deforestation and soil degradation.

Nurseries have indeed been constructed. How well those trees are later transplanted and able to mature is left to be seen.


As international relations expert Benjamin Habib has said"The North Korean government would appear to have a compelling prima facie self-interest in participating in the global climate change mitigation and adaptation project centered on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)" as growing environmental issues can threaten the survival of the regime.
Indeed, a 2019 report by NK News pointed out that climate change threatens the very existence of the northern port city of Sinuiju by 2050.

Unfortunately, the actions taken have been a patchwork of activity, generally lacking coordination or broad national action. Additionally, the main focus doesn’t necessarily seem to be creating a better environment for the people, but rather these changes are pragmatic decisions to help accomplish industrial and military goals, that happen to have other benefits.

While investing in renewable energy sources, allowing individuals to go their own way regarding solar water heaters, etc., are obviously beneficial, the problem of pollution still exists and there are few overt plans to change that reality.

Though new trees help stabilize the ground and protects farmland, hundreds and hundreds of acres of farmland are situated on highly polluted soil, such as on former coal ash ponds, leading to contaminated food. Two large examples of this can be seen at the Pukchang Thermal Power Plant and adjacent to the Namhung Youth Chemical Complex near the city of Anju.

And while mixing up the country's energy portfolio with renewables will have an impact, the country's coal-plants still spew out tons of air pollution and release toxins into rivers. North Korea's nuclear development and industrial sectors likewise negatively impact large swathes of the nation and the people who call it home.

Even actions taken by the government to increase the food supply by reclaiming tidal flats and converting them into farmland will not be sustainable without mitigation efforts, as sea levels rise and saltwater contaminates ground water. And if the West Sea Barrage comes under threat, Pyongyang itself could suffer the direct effects of sea level rise in the future.

As the effects of global warming become more pronounced, the Kim government must take a serious look at how they can accomplish their more immediate goals of militarization and creating an adequate energy supply in the light of what impact they may have on the overall health of the people, and the state's role in either contributing to or helping to limit climate change.

Countries with major coastal cities and those with limited economic power face the greatest challenge. As laudable as these changes are, without taking the threat more seriously and without creating a more open diplomatic environment to allow for future international aid, North Korea is unlikely to achieve energy independence and may be very hard hit by the growing realities of climate change.

I would like to thank my current Patreon supporters: Amanda O., GreatPoppo, Kbechs87, Planefag, Russ Johnson, and Travis Murdock.

--Jacob Bogle, 4/4/2020