Claim: Climate Action Could Help Heal the Rift between North and South Korea

Acquired January 30, 2014. Flying over East Asia, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) took this night image of the Korean Peninsula

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

What the starving, brutalised victims of the repulsive Kim regime need is more climate action, according to a Korean professor of sustainability.

Tackling climate change could bring North and South Korea closer and help stabilise the region

Hun Park

Research Professor, Sustainability, Yonsei University

October 13, 2017 6.18am AEDT

The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 requires every country to make pledges to tackle climate change. North Korea is no exception.

Given that air pollution doesn’t recognise borders, there are already several emissions-reduction projects underway that will require cooperation between Asian nations.

To meet its obligations, South Korea has pledged to buy emissions credits on the international market, offsetting 11.3% of its business-as-usual emissions in 2030. That is 96.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions – already more than North Korea’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 (78 million tonnes).

Because North Korea has its own obligations now, foreign countries including South Korea can no longer earn carbon credits from their carbon-offsetting projects in the country.

But if South Korea provides technical assistance such as satellite monitoring of North Korea’s reforestation progression and then can obtain the country’s “informed consent”, a mutual effort to generate carbon credits could be discussed.

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North Korea doesn’t give a hoot about the environment. We’re talking about the country which last month announced their intention to detonate a nuclear bomb over a random location in the Pacific, to demonstrate their military virility.

I doubt North Korea will care if their test kills whoever is unlucky enough to be caught in the blast radius, or poisons anyone downwind of their primitive, high fallout bombs.

I’m horrified climate was ever used as an excuse to give money to North Korea. According to The Guardian, in Africa, paying governments to set aside forest reserves for carbon credits has led to the brutal deployment of armed soldiers to clear villagers from the new reserves.

Assuming North Korea pays any heed to international climate agreements, and creates or has already established similar forest reserves, does anyone think the Kim regime will be any kinder to North Korean people caught in the path of money grubbing international geopolitics? Does anyone seriously think the murderous Kim regime, whose brutal incompetence has already killed millions, would hesitate to kill more of their own people to secure millions of dollars of international climate cash?

I don’t know how to solve the North Korean situation. But giving the Kim regime millions of dollars to further mess up the lives of their victims in the name of climate action does not seem like a step in the right direction.

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October 12, 2017 5:51 pm

OK, that does it. When this is added to the list of AGW claims it should break the internet.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  markl
October 12, 2017 6:44 pm

Algore sez climate action will stabilize the internet and stop wars by establishing UN global governance (he invented that, too).
Looks like climate action is all that’s needed for Humanity to move into its next phase – decline.

Santa Baby
Reply to  markl
October 12, 2017 9:43 pm

ITS actually not so stupid? When The Wall came down and The truth about communist regimes had killed up to 100 mill of their own being a communist was not so smart any longer. So they went into the culture and environment etc.. they call them self neomarxists and their neomarxism is embedded in the environment and climate action. So what he is actually saying is that becoming more like Nort~Korea will bring peace between North and South. The problem is that there will be more State hate towards the people of South Korea?

October 12, 2017 5:52 pm

These Professors need to start living in the real world.

Reply to  mikebartnz
October 12, 2017 9:24 pm

They aren’t stupid. What “Tackling climate change could bring North and South Korea closer ” means is “Making South Koreans dirt poor, just like the North”.
Oh, and has anybody noticed yet that the photo on the mast head is actually South Australia?

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  mikebartnz
October 13, 2017 9:20 am

These Professors need to start living in … North Korea.
That would change their attitude REAL quick.

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
October 13, 2017 10:02 am


October 12, 2017 5:53 pm

Yet further proof that CAGW activism is criminal activity under another Title.

Bill Illis
October 12, 2017 5:54 pm

The only way out of the North Korea situation is to have the leading military people take Kim out and then surrender to South Korea and invite them in to rebuild the country. The South Koreans will happily do it and spend $100 billion on the effort and millions of lives will be saved. The other options are just not palatable.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Bill Illis
October 12, 2017 6:03 pm

Too true. The Kim dynasty has been bribed in the past, and not followed through with their end of the quid-pro-quo. Regime change does seem the main alternative.

Reply to  Tom Halla
October 12, 2017 7:11 pm

” and not followed through with their end of the quid-pro-quo.” just took the quid. 🙁

Reply to  Bill Illis
October 12, 2017 7:08 pm

surrender to South Korea and invite them in to rebuild the country

A unified Korea under the South Korean Govt. is utterly unacceptable to China. They have warned the US, Japan, and allies on this many times in the past.
China is in quite the difficult situation. Continuing to support the Kim regime could end up in a nuclear war between North Korea and the US. An utter disaster.
The Chinese fear that if they stop supporting the Kim regime, a famine will ensue as whats left of their economy collapses. That would send millions of starving refugees into China. Also utterly unacceptable to the Chinese.
Things are a right proper mess.

Reply to  TonyL
October 12, 2017 9:44 pm

It’s not really the starving people they care about it is having a pro US base right up against it’s border. If China moved to take over Cuba, I am sure the US would have the same issue.

Reply to  TonyL
October 13, 2017 7:03 am

Re-unifying North and South Korea, and China taking over Cuba are hardly comparible actions.
Regardless, the former USSR all but ran Cuba for may decades.
China’s fear is that a prosperous and capitalist unified Korea right on their border would be too great a temptation for their people.

Reply to  TonyL
October 13, 2017 1:21 pm

“Things are a right proper mess.”
And the Chinese can blame themselves for creating most of this North Korean mess. Without the Chinese, the North Koreans couldn’t do anything.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Bill Illis
October 13, 2017 5:25 am

I think you are wrong in assuming South Korea would want to bankrupt its economy to support the North.

October 12, 2017 5:59 pm

The worst thought is that Professor Hun Park surely receives a US$100,000 plus salary for his sterling work and research. 🙁

October 12, 2017 6:00 pm

Unless I am misreading the article the point of it is that “South Korea can no longer earn carbon credits from their carbon-offsetting projects in [North Korea]”
and thus Eric’s statement that “giving the Kim regime millions of dollars to further mess up the lives of their victims in the name of climate action” would appear to be complete opposite of what the article is claiming.
And if you read the whole article most of it is about new natural gas pipelines connecting Korea, Russia, China and/or Japan. Again nothing about giving North Korea any money at all.

J Mac
October 12, 2017 6:01 pm

North Korea is threatening South Korea and the rest of the world with thermonuclear ‘climate change’ while, deliberately and with malice aforethought, Kim Jong Un is starving his enslaved population.
Be careful what you ask for, Hun Park. You may get more ‘climate change’ than you can handle or survive.
From Kim Jong Un’s perspective, the on-going enslavement of all North Korea is ‘sustainable’, as is thermonuclear death for any nation who opposes his on-going, soullessly evil brutality.

October 12, 2017 6:07 pm

It’s ridiculous. The South Korean professor is indulging in wishful thinking when he pretends North Korean leaders are normal human beings, when it is obvious their leader is a homocidal maniac.
Maybe the confrontation can be ended peacefully, but I seriously doubt it. Kim would have to go back on everything he has said, in order to comply with Trump’s demand to denuclearized North Korea.
I think Trump has a redline in his mind, and when Kim crosses it, Kim will be removed from power. Trump is telling anyone who cares to listen.
I noticed today that U.S. troops in South Korea are going to be practicing an evacuation drill at the end of October, to practice getting U.S. troops and dependents out of range of Kim’s artillery, the most serious short-term threat to Seoul and environs.
They ought to simultaneously do an evacuation drill of Seoul, too.
That would be the best time for the U.S. to attack.
About 20 MOAB’s would be sufficient to destroy the North Korean artillery located just north of the DMZ. The only ones who will survive such an attack are those who are completely sealed inside a bunker where overpressure could not get to them. A B-2 Stealth Bomber can deliver two MOABS each.
The last I heard, the U.S. has 14 MOABs in the inventory, but maybe they have built a few more in the meantime.
Trump is going to insist the North Koreans give up its nukes. If they don’t, there will be war, and then they will give them up.
War with North Korea could kill a lot of people, but just multiply that number by 100 if Kim ever gets the ability to hit the U.S. The U.S. cannot afford to take that chance, so Kim better give them up while he still can.
There are no good options, but the worst option is to allow Kim Jung-un to continue his weapons development.

Santa Baby
Reply to  TA
October 12, 2017 9:50 pm

Totalitarian leaders mostly self destruct them self and their people when they fail?

October 12, 2017 6:36 pm

“I don’t know how to solve the North Korean situation.”
The North Korean situation is relatively easy to solve. The solution just isn’t very palatable. Unless the DPRK is willing to come to the negotiating table honorably and negotiate and adhere to any agreements that may be made in good faith then there are only two solutions. Isolate them and then ignore them or war. The DPRK’s development of nuclear weapons has ensured we can’t effectively isolate and ignore them. That means the only practical solution is war. I hope we can avoid war, I don’t think we’ll be able to though.

Reply to  SMC
October 12, 2017 6:45 pm

Trump would appear to be making it impossible for any nation to trust the USA. Look at the situation with Iran and the recent non-proliferation deal. All parties (including the US military) agree that Iran has not violated the deal but Trump appears to want to ignore it and impose further sanctions. So where is the evidence that the US under Trump would negotiate honourable and in good faith.
It seems odd to me at least that you would define nuclear war as the “only practical solution”. I would have thought it was the least practical solution. And there seems little doubt that North Korea currently has the means to launch a nuclear missile strike on the West Coast of the USA so war is likely to mean the death of millions on both sides. That is not a practical solution.

Reply to  Germinio
October 12, 2017 7:05 pm

Most nations don’t particularly like, or trust, the USA anyway so, who cares.
I didn’t say nuclear war, you did. I said war. I also said the solution wasn’t palatable. As for millions dead, in the event of war, well, people die in war, sometimes tens of millions of people. WWII is an example of how bad a conventional war can be…and our conventional weapons have improved significantly since then.
As for the Iran deal, Trump is forcing Congress to act. If Trump decertifies Iran, then the ball will be in Congress’s court. Nothing meaningful will happen, except for a bunch of loud hyperbolic hand wringing, unless Congress decides to actually do something. Besides, Iran Hates the USA. They regularly chant Death to America in the streets so, as far as the USA is concerned, who cares.

Don Perry
Reply to  Germinio
October 12, 2017 7:47 pm

You’re living in dreamland if you think Iran isn’t using huge amounts of money, given to them by Obama, to fund North Korean missile and nuclear technology, which the north will, in turn give to Iran, thus circumventing any agreement Iran has made. When they are both armed with nuclear weapons, they will comprise the new “Axis Powers”. Tick tock, tick tock.

Reply to  Germinio
October 12, 2017 8:15 pm

Germinio…. The “Deal” that Obama illegally brokered with Iran is unconstitutional. It is a Treaty and Treaties can only be passed by Congress. Obama bypassed that check and balance with his “Pen and his Phone” and bound future Presidential administrations to a “deal” (illegal treaty) that he had no authority to make.
President Trump has no option but to cancel Obama’s Iran “Deal”. The American Constitution demands it… and so do most of the citizenry.

Reply to  Germinio
October 13, 2017 3:20 am

“Grasp the nettle danger firmly” said Churchill. His advice was not heeded and the risk of a few stings was exchanged for the trauma of world war.
Not only Obama, but also previous US presidents failed to grasp the nettle whilst it was still a seedling. Now it may be too late to solve the problem without the direst consequences – though it still has to be solved. Trump, for all his bravado, does not have the power of previous presidents such as Roosevelt or Kennedy, or even Reagan. The great liberal establishment – which pervades even large sections of the modern Republican Party – will work massively against any efforts he makes in the direction of resolute action. The unknown – for me, anyway, others may know – is exactly what capabilities USA has today in its arsenal. From comments I have heard by people who should know, shooting down ICBMs in either boost phase or terminal phase is a long way from being a reliable technology. Taking out conventional artillery threat to the crowded metropolis of Seoul, MOAB or other, seems unlikely without heavy consequence (some artillery may be too close to DMZ for MOAB use without friendly casualty). Taking out the Kim family, and decapitating or subverting his military command seems the only possible option. Negotiation will never, ever work unless overwhelming sanction can be threatened – and it can’t, right now.
Pessimism is the word of the age.

Reply to  Germinio
October 13, 2017 1:42 pm

“And there seems little doubt that North Korea currently has the means to launch a nuclear missile strike on the West Coast of the USA”
There is no evidence that North Korea has successfully married a nuclear warhead with their launch vehicles. It’s a little more complicated than just attaching the warhead to the top of the missile.
I suspect that successfully attaching a nuclear warhead to a missile will be a big redline for Trump, and will trigger war between the U.S. and North Korea. I, personally, think the U.S. will have to act before that time. I wouldn’t wait until he had a nuclear weapon mounted and ready to launch.
The only thing that is going to save North Korea is if some of Kim’s generals decide they don’t want to die for this crazy dictator, and remove Kim from power and then say they are ready to deal with the U.S.
Trump’s belligerent talk is just the kind of thing North Korean generals need to hear. If Trump convinces them he is serious, they will take him seriously. Unfortunately, North Korea has had three examples of U.S. presidents who talk tough and do nothing, so Trump has his work cut out for him convincing them he is not like the others. If anyone can do it though, Trump can.
Let’s hope North Korean generals and Iranian generals see the way out and remove the dictators who are leading their nations to destruction. The way out is to avoid a confrontation with the U.S.
Trump, in his speech today, where he refused to certify the Iranian nuclear deal, appealed to the citizens of Iran. You can bet the citizens are listening. They would have overthrown the Mad Mullahs if they had ever gotten a clear signal that a U.S. president was on their side. They never got that signal. Bush had 300,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, and 200,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of the Iraq war. Iran was surrounded by a superior military force. A perfect time to put pressure on the Mad Mullahs and foment revolution in Iran. But Bush passed. And now we have to deal with an even stronger Iran.
Putting off dealing with mad dictators does not make the situation better, it always makes the situation worse. Like the situation we find ourselves in today.
Trump is not going to run away from these problems like past presidents have done, so there may be a storm coming.

Paul Blase
Reply to  Germinio
October 13, 2017 4:15 pm

You’re completely wrong. Trump is keeping his promises and speaking the language that people like Kim understand.

Santa Baby
Reply to  SMC
October 12, 2017 9:53 pm

They will give other enemies of the Western World nukes? Take them down with force now?

October 12, 2017 6:44 pm

This has got to be some form of insanity. If everyone in North Korea just stoped breathing the war between the two Korea’s would end but it would have no effect on global climate. Based on the paleoclimate record and the work that has been done with modeling, one can conclude that the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which Mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect climate and plenty of scientific reasoning that the climate sensivity of CO2 is zero. The AGW conjecture is severely flawed. It is based on a radiant greenhouse effect that has not been observed anywhere in the solar system including the Earth. The radiant greenhouse effect and the AGW conjecture are science fiction. If North Korea changed all the CO2 into our atmosphere into diamonds and more O2, it would have no effect on climate but it would extinguish life as we know it on this planet.

Old England
October 12, 2017 6:55 pm

This South Korean professor seems unaware, or chooses to ignore, that the higher levels of plant food (CO2) in the atmosphere will have boosted crop yields in N Korea. No small thing for a badly underfed population.

Mark from the Midwest
October 12, 2017 6:56 pm

And the movie “The Interview” was based on reality.

October 12, 2017 7:11 pm

Thanks, Eric, for posting this. Hun Park’s work is astonishingly awful. But I would question one word that you used : “incompetence”, as in:- “the murderous Kim regime, whose brutal incompetence has already killed millions“. I do know that one should never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence, but in this case I really don’t think it is incompetence. I suspect that exactly the same is going on under Kim that went on in China under Mao. ie, the reason that N Korean people die of starvation is not that they don’t produce enough food, it is that the food produced by the people is removed from the people by the regime.
About Mao:-
Mao Zedong knew what was happening in the countryside. He knew about the famine deaths. He knew that local officials had frequently launched violent attacks on farmers who resisted collectivization or failed to meet grain production quotas.
And Mao pushed to extract more grain from the farmers. He then ordered exports of large amounts of it, “all the while denying the masses the food they themselves had produced, according to former Xinhua News Agency reporter and conference speaker Yang Jisheng, who has the documents to back this up.”
(There are many other sources which give the same information. Perhaps the best source is the book “Mao” by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. I heartily recommend it.).

Reply to  Mike Jonas
October 12, 2017 7:15 pm

Sorry, I missed a closing quote after “the food they themselves had produced“.

October 12, 2017 7:44 pm

If Neville Chamberlain was alive today, he’d be an Algorean of the Globalwarmist Church.

October 12, 2017 8:34 pm

Oh please. Kim Jong Un could stop global warming by himself. If he wanted.

Reply to  TimTheToolMan
October 12, 2017 10:14 pm

(rocket man can do anything)…

October 12, 2017 10:15 pm

I’ve been thinking about why it appears there is so much hypocrisy and foolishness from the progressive liberal left – academic, political and Hollywood. Climate changes, women’s rights, capitalism-as-evil. I think the answer is “noble causes”.
As cultural inheritors of Christian-Judeo values, they recognize their virtues as based on INTENT , not outcome. Yes, they fail personally, but only because they have feet of clay. Their Intent was nobel. Therefore they deserve pulic acclaim and entry to heaven regardless of what they DO.
Stop driving SUVs and the Rocket Man stands down. Stop driving SUVs and it is immaterial Al Gore has a CO2 footprint the size of Arkansas. Wear a pink hat and Weinstein’s lechery is neutralized.
The noble cause excuses all personal flaws and contradictions. The skeptic says the personal flaws and contradictions are enough to NEGATE the influences the noble cause promotions might cause. But pragmatism is not a philosophy behind the noble cause: intent, not results, define the noble cause.
Al Gore, David Suzuki, Jerry Brown and Leo DiCaprio look to their validation through their promotion of the Noble Cause. Hollywood, with all its Weinstein culpability, puffs its chest out on the Noble Cause. The damage they cause themselves is irrelevant within the larger scheme: lies and dupucity on a personal level are unimportant if they create integrity on a national level.
What the progressive liberal EFFECTS is, in their minds, of greater importance than what they do. The problem with this concept of course is that if every progessive liberal self-justifies the same way, no one achieves anything while putting the inus on every one else.
In other words, my friends and me are good. It’s the deplorable “others” who are at fault.

October 12, 2017 10:35 pm

Strawmannishly: Global Warming Can

* Bring Peace to North Korea

Eyeroll. Facepalm.

October 13, 2017 12:47 am

They all live in a virtual world, virtual emission credits, virtual model predictions and outcomes and so on, it’s about time they all lose their license and go back to college (or elementary school).

October 13, 2017 4:26 am

This seems like a pretty emotive and counterproductive attitude to me. Any opportunity to make theraputic inroads into the quasi mental illness of NK political strategy seems like a good idea to me. Developing an awareness of the interdependence of people/enviroment is guaranteed to help bring disputes between peoples into a more rational perspective.

Gerry, England
October 13, 2017 5:29 am

It is the leader of N Korea not the country itself since I am sure the people have no interest in starting a war. They only support the leader as death can result if you don’t. Most of the people live in an alcoholic haze as they did in the Soviet Union to pass the days. The government lets them as dozy drunk people require less control and won’t be plotting against the government.

October 13, 2017 7:52 am

Korean professor of sustainability…..shares an office with the professor of advanced under water basket weaving

Reply to  Latitude
October 13, 2017 8:49 am

I do not know what you want. North Korea is already flooded at night. Only a few islets of thin light are still visible. Everywhere you have to be careful not to get an electric shock, so many lines are already under water. Since it is quite normal that a South Korean professor of sustainability wants to see this state not only limited to North Korea. St. Martin is on 11.11. each year. Since it is normal that is shared. Half of the misery, famine and oppression in North Korea also for the South. So I really do not know what you want.

Joel Snider
October 13, 2017 12:15 pm

What’s really repulsive are the opportunists that try to prostitute any human misery they can find or create to push an agenda.

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