An example of how far reaching and common the notion of environmental protection having a positive effect to the economic health of a region, the leader of North Korea acknowledges it. His statement of protection might be a world first for the closed, non-democratic country.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks to his aides during his visit last week to a farm in Samjiyon County, where a township is being built. He stressed that the project should not lead to forests being destroyed. / Korean Central News Agency Speculation is growing that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is making a priority of forestation in rebuilding the economy, after he visited Samjiyon County in the border region. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on July 10 that Kim visited the county in Ryanggang Province, where a town is being built. He said the project should be divided into the areas of education, dwelling houses, modern streets, industry, sports and cultural education, commercial service and tourism. He also stressed that the project should not lead to the destruction of forests in the region and cited the need for "a good design of forestation and tree planting." His instruction appears to be in line with inter-Korean cooperation on forestry. This is the not the first time that Kim has emphasized environmental protection. In February 2015, Kim said the country should be turned into "thick woodland and greenery," noting that "bare mountains and earth-covered ones should never […]

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