Characteristics of Energy Usage and Emissions of Air Pollutants in North Korea

In Sun Kim, Yong Pyo Kim

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11 Scopus citations


Data on the energy usage and emissions of air pollutants in North Korea are assembled and analyzed. North Korea suffers from energy shortage and is highly dependent on domestic sources such as coal and biomass. Also, a large amount of air pollutants are emitted from North Korea due to inefficient combustion technologies and low level application of emission control technologies. In particular, it is found that though reliability of the data on the biomass burning is not high, it might be important energy sources and emit a large amount of air pollutants some of which are quite toxic. Also, it is found that the air pollutants emitted from North Korea can affact the air quality in South Korea, especially on the Seoul Metropolitan Area. Furthermore, the energy consumption in North Korea is expected to increase and, without installation of proper control equipment the air quality in both North and South Korea will be worsended. Cooperative strategy in energy sector between South and North Korea should be considered to manage air pollution and health effects in Korean Peninsular.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-137
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Korean Society for Atmospheric Environment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019,Journal of Korean Society for Atmospheric Environment. All Rights Reserved.


  • Biomass
  • Emissions of air pollutants
  • Energy usage
  • North Korea


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