This is a special broadcast brought to you by North Korean state television, warning comrades about the dangers of smog. The air in North Korea has grown increasingly toxic in the past decade. So much so that the country's air pollution mortality rate is the highest in the world. The culprit behind that iscoal.
Reuters' Jane Chong explains.>> In terms of air pollution levels, North Korea's air pollution level is not the highest in the world or it's not the world's most toxic air to breathe. However, people die the most in the world because of air pollution according to report by the WHO.
And experts say that it's mainly because of
use and because They mostly used cheap and dirty coal to cook and heat their houses. Coal is, also a key energy source to make electricity. But, North Korea's coal power plants are old and aren't not fully equipped with pollution filters.
>> Nearly 50% of North Korea's electricity is produced by coal power plants. And Kim John-un wants to keep that going. In his New Year address he praised coal as a key to boosting the country’s economy. But it's not like North Korea's blind coal's harmful effects. It might just be that it doesn't have any other choice.
>> North Korea has its own plans to address its environmental problems including air pollution. Some of the measures are modernizing it's old coal power plants and enhancing fuel efficiency to reduce emissions. However, it is not easy for North Korea to tackle the problem alone and it has to rely a coal for a
] generation cooking and heating in the phase of international sanctions
>> Sunctions from its weapons program has blocked North Korea from exporting its coal. Meaning that the country has been using it a lot more domestically. But worrying about air quality is the luxury North Korean say they can't afford>> We won't die right away from breathing dust but we do if we don't eat food from the moment we wake up, we have to think about how much rice is left in our jar.
>> And it's a problem that's slowly drifting over North Korea's borders. About 20% of air pollutants in neighboring South Korea are estimated to originate in the North