U.N. Spending $798K on Making North Korea More Ozone-Friendly

The Juche tower and Taedong river are seen on a hazy morning from the Grand People's Study House on Monday, July 24, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

UNITED NATIONS – A top United Nations development agency is carrying out a project to make North Korea – a country where most residents are in the dark at night and where many of its people are starving – more ozone-friendly.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has been allocated a budget of $798,247 as part of a worldwide effort to phase out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which an agency official tells Breitbart News are “scientifically proven as ozone depleting substances and controlled under the Montreal Protocol.” According to the project’s website, it has already spent $466,375.

The funding was approved by the Executive Committee of Multilateral Fund for Implementation of Montreal Protocol (MLF EC), at which the U.S. has a representative. That fund is “dedicated to reversing the deterioration of the Earth’s ozone layer” and was set up after the 1989 Montreal Protocol, which sought to reverse the damage done to the ozone layer.

Since North Korea is a party to the Montreal Protocol, it is eligible to receive funding for a project for HCFC phase-out, and UNIDO was chosen as the lead implementing agency for the project.

The project, which looks to bring North Korea into the Montreal Protocol’s compliance target of a 15 percent reduction of HCFCs by 2018, was approved in 2014. It includes a conversion of a number of factories that currently use HCFCs, an “improvement of recovery and recycling scheme,” as well as money set aside for “awareness-raising and public education.”

One contract under the project hands a whopping $265,000 to a Chinese company for the replacement of HCFCs at a foam factory in Pyongyang.

Other countries such as Saudi Arabia, India, and numerous others have also been implementing what is known as the “HCFC Phase-out Management Plan,” but such countries are not involved in a widely-condemned race to manufacture nuclear weapons.

A U.S.-drafted resolution Saturday slapped sanctions on North Korea’s exports of iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, and seafood, as well as limiting business collaborations with the rogue regime, in response to two intercontinental ballistic missile launches in July.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the regime now has the capability to load miniature nuclear warheads into missiles, while Fox News reported that the regime has been loading cruise missiles onto ships – signs that North Korea has been undeterred by U.S. efforts and is pushing forward with its military escalation.

Perhaps more jarring about the ozone-efficiency project is how the U.N. is focusing on making North Korea more energy efficient when it is already a country that not only starves its people but plunges its people into darkness at night.

Breitbart News asked UNIDO if the contract was connected to possible rocket-building concerns. A NASA fact sheet notes that HCFC-141b, among its many domestic uses, can be used as a blowing agent to create a foam that can be used to coat rockets. However, UNIDO told Breitbart that environmental reasons were the sole reason for the contract, which is focused on the implementation of the Montreal Protocol.

“Hence the project implemented by UNIDO will result in zero import/consumption of HCFC-141b in DPR Korea after 2018 while without the project the country would continue to import and consume the chemical,” a UNIDO spokesperson said.

Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.