Changes in the extent and distribution of urban land cover in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) between 1987 and 2010

Sangjun Kang, Jinmu Choi, Hyejin Yoon, Woonsup Choi

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Largely due to data unavailability, the spatial pattern of urban growth in North Korea has been rarely studied. This study explored urban changes in North Korea and provided their plausible causes. The present study used satellite-based land cover data sets produced by the government of South Korea to examine the extent and distribution of urban land cover in North Korea between the late 1980s (1987–1989) and late 2000s (2008–2010) at the municipal level. The urban expansion intensity index (UEII) was calculated for two 10-year intervals, and the spatial autocorrelation of UEII values was examined. Major findings from the study are summarized as follows: (a) the capital city Pyongyang's dominance continued without any obvious sign of slowing down, (b) economic development districts do not appear to have much influence on urban land cover changes, and (c) the extent of urban land cover slightly decreased in much of the country between the late 1990s (1997–1999) and late 2000s (2008–2010). The results and discussion in this study suggest internal migration and stagnant economy as probably important causes for the phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2009-2017
Number of pages9
JournalLand Degradation and Development
Volume30
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • land cover
  • North Korea
  • Pyongyang
  • urban expansion intensity index
  • urban growth

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