Improvements in North Korean Agriculture Detected via Satellite Imagery

A recent study utilizing satellite imagery has indicated a positive shift in North Korean agriculture, which supports statements made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about the country’s recovery from food shortages in the previous year.

This analysis, derived from monitoring changes in vegetation through data captured by NASA’s Terra Modis satellite, observed enhanced vegetation levels including healthier states of crops from March through October of 2023 when compared to the same period in 2022. Noteworthy tools used in this analysis, such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), serve as vital indicators of vegetation vitality and crop health. Although these metrics are not crop-specific, their improvement suggests a general agricultural rebound in North Korea.

Despite these promising indicators, the analysis is limited in its scope as these indices do not provide a direct measure of food production nor do they differentiate between crop types. Nevertheless, the substantial increase in vegetation indices year-over-year presents a scientifically-backed narrative that contrasts with often sceptical views of North Korea’s self-reported successes in agriculture and food production.

Summary: Satellite imagery analysis conducted by NK Pro supports North Korea’s claims of agricultural recovery in 2023, showing improved crop health compared to the previous year. This study, which uses indices like NDVI and EVI from NASA’s Terra Modis satellite, indicates potential advancements in tackling food shortages in the reclusive country, though it does not offer details on specific crop yields.

FAQs about North Korean Agriculture as Indicated by Satellite Imagery

What has the satellite imagery revealed about North Korean agriculture?
The satellite imagery, specifically from NASA’s Terra Modis satellite, has revealed an enhancement in vegetation levels and healthier crop states between March and October 2023 as compared to the same period in 2022.

How was the study conducted?
The study was conducted using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), which are indicators of vegetation vitality and crop health.

What do NDVI and EVI stand for?
NDVI stands for Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, and EVI stands for Enhanced Vegetation Index. Both are used to assess the health and vigor of vegetation.

Can NDVI and EVI determine the types of crops grown or the amount of food produced?
No, NDVI and EVI provide a general understanding of vegetative health but are not crop-specific and do not give a direct measure of food production.

Does the study validate North Korea’s self-reported agricultural success?
While the study provides scientific backing for an improvement in vegetation, which suggests agricultural recovery, it does not itself validate the specifics of North Korea’s self-reported agricultural success.

Why is this study important?
This study is important because it provides an objective method to observe changes in North Korean agriculture, offering a perspective that might contrast with the often sceptical views toward North Korea’s self-reported data.

Related Articles & Information:
For more information on remote sensing and vegetation indices, you can visit:

Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI): A numerical indicator that uses remote sensing measurements to assess whether the target being observed contains live green vegetation or not.
Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI): An optimized vegetation index designed to enhance the vegetation signal with improved sensitivity in high biomass regions and improved vegetation monitoring through a de-coupling of the canopy background signal and a reduction in atmospheric influences.

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