South Korea: The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) announced plans to use the Cheollian weather satellite to monitor volcanic activity on Mt. Baekdu on the North Korea-China border to deal with a possible eruption. The monitoring programme will begin in June.
According the programme, a KMA official said, “By analysing satellite photos of the lake on top of Mt. Baekdu, we will be able to monitor pre-earthquake signs, such as changes in water temperature.”
Mt. Baekdu has been dormant since 1903. “Unlike Japan or Indonesia, which see frequent volcanic eruptions since they lie on the fault line between tectonic plates, Mt. Baekdu lies in the Eurasian plate, so it is difficult to accurately forecast an eruption,” said Yoon Sung-hyo, a geologist at Pusan National University. “To predict an eruption, we need to precisely monitor the growth, flow and speed of magma.”
Lee Hyun of the KMA said, “At present, the chances of Mt. Baekdu erupting are very slim, but if it does happen, the debris and overflowing waters of the Chonji lake on top of the mountain would inevitably cause damage to China and North Korea, and the precision manufacturing industries of Japan and Korea could be indirectly affected by the ashes from the explosion.”