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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Random fowling up north

In case you thought that the North Korean authorities were only interested in military-first politics and flailing the imperialist aggressors, this story from the DPRK's Central News Agency shows that there are also concerned about woodpeckers:
Pyongyang, January 5 (KCNA) -- The number of white-bellied black woodpecker has increased in the Mt. Myolak area, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The bird, found out in Kyonggi province for the first time in the summer of 1886, had inhabited in the area south of Mt. Songak and Mt. Chonma in Kaesong, Korea and in Tsushima, Japan. But the environmental deterioration and random fowling compelled it to disappear in Japan from October 1920. And it was hard to see the bird even in Korea. The DPRK government took a step to protect and propagate the bird in Juche 41 (1952) during the hard-fought Korean War, and designated the bird found in Mt. Songak as a natural treasure in 1956.
In September 1969 the DPRK Cabinet issued an ordinance on protecting and propagating white-bellied black woodpecker and the areas of Phyongsan and Rinsan Counties in North Hwanghae Province and Pongchon County in South Hwanghae Province were designated as reserves for the bird.
This made it possible to increase the number of the bird, which had been once on the brink of extinction.
It has been living in the Mt. Myolak and Singye areas in North Hwanghae Province far north of the original habitat.
This bid for environmental credentials is only slightly spoilt by this passage from the following article 'DPRK in General Onward March':
The workers of the Musan Mining Complex successfully carried out the blasting for blowing 150,000 ton earth on the New Year's Day to open a broad vista for increased iron ore production.


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