THE LAW OF THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S
REPUBLIC OF KOREA ON THE PROTECTION OF ENVIRONMENT
Adopted by Ordinance No. 5 of the Supreme People’s Assembly
on April 9, 1986,
amended by Decree No. 488 of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly
on March 4, 1999, and
amended by Decree No. 1676 of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly
on July 24, 2000
Chapter 1. Fundamentals
Protecting environment is a noble work to provide the masses with an environment
favourable for leading an independent and creative life.
The State shall always show close concern for protecting and managing environment
so as to provide the people with healthy environment and hygienic working conditions.
Article 2. Protecting environment is an important work that must be
a permanent undertaking in building socialism and communism.
The State shall adopt measures to consolidate the success achieved in the protection
and management of environment and to improve environmental protection in step
with the modernization of industry and other economic sectors, and shall increase
investment systematically as required in implementing the measures.
Article 3. The State shall protect and manage environment on
a long-term and planned basis in order to create an environment in the country
that accords with the aspirations and desires of the people.
The State shall build cities and villages, and distribute factories and enterprises
and other industrial facilities rationally, on the principle of protecting environment.
Article 4. Adopting thorough measures for preventing pollution prior
to beginning production and construction is an important requirement for protecting
The State shall ensure that institutions, enterprises and organizations take
steps for preventing environmental pollution prior to beginning production and
construction and that they steadily modernize their material and technical means
for protecting environment.
Article 5. Protecting environment is a noble duty of all people.
The State shall intensify education of the people in socialist patriotism so
that they take good care of the country’s rivers, mountains, towns and villages
and voluntarily take part in improving the protection and management of environment.
Article 6. The State shall develop scientific research for protecting
environment from pollution, build up the scientific institutions that protect
environment and strengthen guidance over them.
Article 7. Prohibiting development, testing and use of nuclear and
chemical weapons and preventing any damage to environment are a consistent policy
of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The State shall fight against the devastation and pollution of environment through
the development, testing and use of nuclear and chemical weapons on the Korean
peninsula and in the surrounding area.
Article 8. The State shall develop exchange and cooperation with other
countries and international organizations in the field of environmental protection.
Article 9. This law stipulates the principles of and regulations for
preventing the devastation of environment such as pollution, noise, vibration,
ground subsidence and bad odor in the air, water, soil and sea and providing
a better environment.
Matters not specified in this law shall be subject to the laws and regulations
Chapter 2. Preservation and Improvement of Natural Environment
Article 10. Efficient preservation
and improvement of natural environment is a requirement for providing the people
with good living conditions and handing down a more beautiful and healthy environment
to the generations to come.
All institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens shall preserve the
natural environment and improve and manage it so that it is conducive to the
promotion of people’s health and to their enjoyment of a cultural and emotional
Article 11. Reserves and special reserves such as nature conservation
reserve, animal reserve, plant reserve and marine resources reserve shall be
established for environmental protection.
The Cabinet shall be responsible for this.
Article 12. The land and environmental protection institutions
and other institutions concerned shall regularly investigate and record changes
in the natural environment such as those evident among animals and plants, those
in the configuration of ground, in the quality of water and in climate, in these
reserves and special reserves and take any necessary steps.
In the reserves and special reserves no act that is harmful to the preservation
of the natural environment in its original state and to its protection and management
shall be permitted.
Article 13. Institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens shall
refrain from cutting down ornamental trees in and around cities and villages,
along roads and railways and on the banks of lakes and rivers, and from damaging
or destroying the scenery, such as beauty spots, pine groves on beaches, swimming
beaches, peculiar rocks and cliffs, attractive and impressive physical features
in mountainous areas and picturesque islands.
Article 14. Institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens
shall refrain from developing coal and ore mines in scenic spots, tourist resorts
and holiday centres and from constructing buildings and facilities which impede
the protection of environment, and shall preserve caves, waterfalls, the remains
of old castles, natural monuments, as well as spots of scenic beauty and of
historical interest, in their original state.
Article 15. Institutions, enterprises and organizations shall
adopt appropriate measures to prevent damage to environment caused by the sinking
of the ground when developing mineral resources and building underground structures.
Underground water shall not be drawn from places where damage may be caused
by the sinking of the ground.
Article 16. Institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens
shall refrain from altering the balance of the biological world by damaging
the habitats of wild and aquatic animals and by digging up rare plants at random.
Animals and plants that are specified by the State to be protected and increased
shall not be caught or picked without permission from the land and environmental
Article 17. City management institutions and other relevant institutions,
enterprises and organizations concerned shall lay out parks, recreation grounds
and amusement parks in many places and plant trees and turf along roads, railways,
rivers around buildings, on the waste land around buildings and in public places.
Trees or grass that hinder the protection of environment shall not be planted
in and around urban communities.
Article 18. The State shall establish the months for land and
environmental protection such as general mobilization month for land management
and months for planting trees and beautifying towns to improve land management
and environmental protection on a mass basis.
The Cabinet shall be responsible for designating these months.
Chapter 3. Prevention of Environmental Pollution
Article 19. Preventing environmental pollution is a prerequisite
for preventing damage to environment.
Institutions, enterprises and organizations shall comply strictly with the environmental
protection standards such as the permitted limits for the protection of environment,
the pollutant emission standards and noise and vibration standards.
Environmental protection standards shall be defined by the Cabinet.
Article 20. Where necessary, institutions, enterprises and
organizations shall arrange gas and dust collector and air filters in buildings
and facilities to prevent the emission of gas, dust and bad odor, and maintain
and repair furnaces, tanks, pipes and other facilities on a planned basis.
Boilers that have not undergone technical inspection cannot be operated.
Article 21. Vehicles which exceed gas and smoke emission limits, which
raise dust by carrying unpacked goods or which are dirty shall be prohibited
from use, and machines and equipment which exceed permitted noise and vibration
standards shall be prohibited from operation.
People’s security institutions shall strictly undertake technical inspection
and control of the operation of vehicles to prevent the vehicles that discharge
harmful gas beyond the emission limit from operation.
Article 22. When gas, dust and the like may seriously pollute the atmosphere
under the influence of unusual weather conditions, the land and environmental
protection agencies, and other relevant institutions, enterprises and organizations
shall control or stop the use of relevant facilities and operation of vehicles.
Hydrological and meteorological institutions shall inform the organs concerned
of unusual weather phenomena.
Article 23. City management institutions and other relevant institutions,
enterprises and organizations shall establish waste removal facilities, remove
leaves and garbage promptly, and refrain from burning them in the residential
areas of cities and near main street. Collected garbage at dumping area must
be carried away promptly.
Article 24. Institutions, enterprises and organizations concerned shall
establish sewage treatment to purify wastewater, and prevent them from flowing
into the sea, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, etc.
Article 25. City management institutions, and other relevant
institutions, enterprises and organizations shall repair and improve waterworks
regularly, filter and purify drinking water strictly to supply the inhabitants
drinking water that meets the water quality standards.
No factory, enterprise, building or facility shall be built, and no herbicide,
insecticide or other harmful chemicals shall be sprayed in the area surrounding
water intakes, reservoirs and drainage outlets.
Article 26. No ship, either sailing or at anchor in the territorial
waters and economic waters, at the ports, harbours, and barrages, on the rivers,
lakes, and reservoirs, of the DPRK shall sump or dispose of oil, foul water
Institutions of developing natural resources and other institutions, enterprises
and organizations shall refrain from polluting the marine environment when developing
marine resources or undertaking projects along seashores.
Article 27. Institutions, enterprises and organizations which are engaged
in shipping shall provide their ships with pollution prevention equipment corresponding
to their tonnage.
When inspecting ships, marine affairs control agencies shall strictly examine
the ships’ equipment for pollution prevention.
Article 28. Institutions, enterprises and organizations which
menage harbours, ports, barrages and docks shall provide themselves with facilities
for disposing of sewage and refuse, and remove these from ships promptly. Any
oil or filth floating on the water of the sea or river shall be purified or
Article 29. Institutions, enterprises and organizations concerned
shall locate sewage works, rubbish and industrial refuse dumps in such places
where there will be no threat of the contamination of the sea, rivers, lakes,
reservoirs or sources of drinking water.
Earth-scraping areas, overburden dumps, coal depot, soot dumps, and slag heaps
shall be so arranged as to avoid polluting the surrounding areas, and, when
they are no longer being used, shall be buried under earth and planted with
trees or used as farm land.
Article 30. Agricultural chemicals prohibited by the State
because of their polluting effect on the air, water and soil or for their harmful
effect on human life shall not be produced or imported.
Health and anti-epidemic institutions shall examine the noxious properties of
all agricultural chemicals.
Article 31. Agricultural guidance institutions and other institutions,
enterprises and organizations shall store and use agricultural chemicals as
proscribed to prevent them from being blown away, or from flowing into rivers,
lakes, marshes, reservoirs and the sea, and from being deposited underground.
Agricultural chemicals shall be sprayed by airplane only with the approval of
the land and environmental prevention institutions.
Article 32. Institutions and enterprises which produce or handle
radioactive substances shall provide themselves with devices for filtering and
purifying gas, dust, wastewater and refuse, and reduce their radioactivity to
below the tolerable limit.
Institutions and enterprises that handle radioactive substances in open conditions
shall regularly monitor the radioactive pollution in the surrounding area and
take relevant steps.
Article 33. Institutions, enterprises and organizations concerned
shall receive permission from the radioactivity control institutions or public
security institutions. When they are going to produce, supply, carry, store,
use or destroy radioactive matter, radioactivity control institutions shall
regularly monitor possible environmental contamination elements and adopt any
Article 34. No polluted foodstuffs, medicines, daily necessities
and animal feed that have a harmful effect on public health and environmental
protection shall be imported.
When institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens import foodstuffs,
medicines, daily necessities and animal feed, they shall be quarantined by relevant
Article 35. Waste products, equipment and technology that might
damage environment because they emit harmful substances or make noise or vibrate
shall not be imported or introduced into production.
Article 36. Institutions, enterprises and organizations shall
regularly measure the quantities and densities of harmful substances emitted
during production, as well as the intensity of noise and vibration, and reduce
Harmful substances that exceed the permitted limit or are prohibited by the
land and environmental protection agencies shall not be produced.
Article 37. Land and environmental protection institutions, local power
organs and other institutions concerned shall relocate out of cities any factories
and enterprises which cause pollution, move roads and railways for transporting
goods either to areas outside residential quarters or underground, and relocate
houses which are threatened by pollution to places where the environmental conditions
In the city centres no factories or enterprises that can cause pollution or
that require transportation of large volumes of goods shall be built and no
buildings and facilities that have no pollution prevention equipment shall be
Chapter 4. Guidance and Management of Environmental Protection
Article 38. Improving guidance and control of environmental
protection is an important requirement for thoroughly implementing the policy
of the State of environmental protection.
The State shall strengthen its direction and control over the work of environmental
protection as required by the developing situation.
Article 39. The central land and environmental protection organ
shall give guidance to environmental protection under the unified direction
of the Cabinet.
The central land and environmental protection organ shall establish a proper
system for the guidance over environmental protection and constantly improve
the guidance methods.
Article 40. Institutions, enterprises and organizations shall
supply land and environmental protection institutions and other institutions
concerned with the information they require and provide them with the working
conditions they need.
State planning institutions, labour administration institutions, materials supply
institutions, and financial and banking institutions shall promptly supply sufficient
manpower, facilities, materials and funds for protecting environment.
Article 41. The central land and environmental protection organ
shall establish a nationwide environment-monitoring system to regularly monitor
the state of environment, draw up annual plans for environmental protection
and guide their implementation.
Article 42. Institutions, enterprises and organizations shall
draw up designs and technical tasks from the point of view of environmental
protection, have their impact on environment assessed by a land and environmental
protection agency and obtain agreement of relevant organs.
Technical tasks and designs shall not be examined and unless an environmental
impact assessment has been made and an agreement has been reached by the organs
Article 43. Organs in charge of inspecting completed structures shall
not pass structures that are not equipped with pollution prevention facilities.
Article 44. The central land and environmental protection organ,
environmental protection science research institutions and other institutions
concerned shall strengthen the work of scientific research for the prevention
of environmental devastation caused by various factors and for the improvement
of land and environment, and introduce the successful results into environmental
Article 45. Educational institutions and the press shall disseminate
scientific information related to environmental protection and educate the masses
to protect environment by various ways and means, and give wide publicity to
the successes achieved in environmental protection.
Article 46. Land and environmental protection institutions and other
control agencies concerned shall be responsible for the control over environmental
They shall strictly supervise the implementation of environmental protection
Article 47. Those who have harmed the people’s health and damaged
the property of the State, social and cooperative organizations and citizens
by destroying environment shall compensate for this.
Article 48. Foreign vessels or foreigners who have destroyed
the environment in the territory of the DPRK shall be detained, fined, or they
shall compensate for it.
Article 49. Projects under construction, operation of factories
and running of vehicles that violate the environmental protection regulations
shall be suspended, or the structures and facilities involved shall be removed,
and the materials and money used confiscated and rehabilitation of the destroyed
Article 50. In case institutions, enterprises and organizations
have brought about grave consequences by violating this law, the responsible
officials and individual citizens shall be subject to administrative or penal