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North Korea Unveils Automated Farm On Ex-Missile Test Site

North Korea is targeting agricultural self-reliance in response to tightening international sanctions over its nuclear and missile programmes

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un attends the opening ceremony of the Ryonpho Greenhouse Farm. KCNA via REUTERS


North Korea has unveiled a large-scale automated greenhouse farm on a former airbase used for testing missiles last year, state media said on Tuesday.

The opening ceremony of the Ryonpho Greenhouse Farm, located in the eastern county of Hamju, showcased its 850 blocks of modern greenhouses covering 280 hectares, the official KCNA news agency said.

Schools, cultural facilities and more than 1,000 houses will be added to the complex, KCNA said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was in attendance, as the event marked the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party, a major holiday in North Korea.



Sanctions on Missiles

North Korea’s farming investment is aimed at improving its self-reliance after tightening international sanctions over its nuclear and missile programmes.

It first introduced the similar but slightly smaller Jungphyong Greenhouse Farm in the northeast county of Kyongsong in late 2019.

The isolated country had used the area for several launches of short-range ballistic missile, including the KN-25s in November 2019 and the suspected KN-23s in March 2021.

Kim attended the event after guiding nuclear tactical exercises targeting South Korea over the past two weeks, which state media said were designed to counter recent joint naval drills by South Korean and US forces involving an aircraft carrier.


‘Top Priority Task’

The North’s ruling party called the build a “top priority task” to help achieve its goal of improving people’s lives set at its key policy meeting last December.

Kim has spearheaded the farm initiative to boost vegetable supplies and praised soldiers and workers for completing the construction in just a few months, KCNA said.

The party plans to “more dynamically and confidently push forward the overall rural development of the country with the Ryonpho Greenhouse Farm as a model,” Kim was quoted as saying at the ceremony.

  • Reuters, with additional editing from Alfie Habershon


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Alfie Habershon

Alfie is a Reporter at Asia Financial. He previously lived in Mumbai reporting on India's economy and healthcare for data journalism initiative IndiaSpend, as well as having worked for London based Tortoise Media.


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