One of the world's most secretive states is going green — for national security reasons.
Pyongyang may be interested in developing algae as "a strategic resource," according to a note on 38 North, a website focused on North Korea that's part of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Algae, plantlike organisms that includes kelp and spirulina, is a multipurpose resource that can produce food, fertilizer, feedstock and fuel from the same biomass. And it makes sense for Pyongyang to be interested: Over time, an algae industry could gradually "mitigate the negative effects of sanctions both on the country's energy supply and food security," the note said.
Research facilities dedicated to open ponds and aquaculture systems — key infrastructure for algae growth — have existed in the rogue state since the early 2000s but they have recently become more complex, 38 North said, pointing to large plants in two different areas as examples.