NASA satellite spots huge fires burning in N. Korea

May 2, 2014

(Yonhap) — A satellite photo released by NASA Friday shows dozens of fires in North Korea, some of which appear to be wildfires.

According to the imagery captured by the agency’s Aqua satellite on April 25, some of the fires are in heavily forested areas in the eastern part of the country.

“Many fires appear in farming areas along rivers,” NASA said, adding many people farm marginal land along rivers in the mountainous areas.

“They use fire to clear debris from last year’s crop and to help fertilize the soil for the coming season,” the agency said. “However, some of the fires were burning in heavily forested areas, suggesting that they might be wildfires.”

A South Korean environmental research center said last week simultaneous wildfires seem to have occured in 35 places in North Korea.

The Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research (KCAER), based in Chongwon-gun, North Chungcheong Province, cited an analysis of separate satellite imagery dated April 25.