NASA Image Shows North Korea Is Burning

North Korea Kim Jong unOpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay

NASA’s Terra satellite has beamed back pictures which show the wildfires which are currently burning in certain areas of the country. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Sepctroradiometer (MODIS) was used to take pictures of North Korea from orbit around the Earth, but certain details can be made out, writes Sean Breslin for

Fires reach North-South border

The images show a series of wildfires burning across North Korea, and a huge plume of smoke can be seen drifting across the East Sea/Sea of Japan, as far as Japan itself. Some fires are also set by farmers, but it is not known if some such fires have since spread out of control.

“As snow retreats in the spring, many farmers use fire to clear away last year’s crop debris and to fertilize the soil for the coming season,” according to NASA. Some of the fires could be part of this practice, but others are almost certainly wildfires.

The International Business Times reports that such fires have been burning for over a month across the Korean Peninsula. One blaze reached the Korean Demilitarization Zone at the end of March, spread by strong winds. Both sides cooperated in order to extinguish the fire, and no injuries or damage were reported.

Drought leads to wildfires, food shortages

A serious drought has been reported across North Korea, with some rivers running dry last summer. Precipitation levels did not increase over the winter, and it is thought that food shortages could become an issue if rainfall does not increase this summer.

North Korea is a constant fixture in the news, with Western media seemingly fascinated by the secretive nation. Our interest only seems to increase due to the absence of solid facts, which are replaced by rampant speculation and rumor. Trustworthy information is hard to come by given the fact that North Korea is the second most censored country in the world, according to a recent report.

Despite its general mistrust of foreigners, North Korea is currently cultivating stronger ties with Russia, which may be part of Vladimir Putin’s plan to sow discord around the globe.

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Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at