Views differ in Paektu Mountain’s potential eruption

Picture of the Paektu Mountain. Source:

Drying land and trees surrounding the Paektu Mountain sparked rumors online that it may erupt in 2025 after its latest eruption in 1925.

“Whether the volcano erupts or not depends on its seismic activity, not the physical topographic areas outside of the mountain.” Allyson Lee, AP Environmental Science teacher, said. “So, what are the tectonic plates doing? Asking such questions will help determine if the mountain will erupt or not. Based on any changes or increases in pressure underground are additional evidence that there could be a potential eruption. If the eruption occurs, lava will still not reach Seoul but there would be issues with smoke and ash affecting the air quality.”

In response to the potentially dangerous environmental effects of the eruption, the Korean public expressed curiosity about Paektu’s volcanic activity. Meanwhile, people are casting doubt on the rumors.

“I would say that I am somewhere between doubting and trusting the prediction,” Jennah Yoo (12), a student taking AP Environmental Science, said. “I was initially a bit skeptical about the eruption of Paektu Mountain, as volcanoes are infamous for their tricky nature. Despite the multiple extensive studies conducted on volcanic eruptions, science has long demonstrated that the natural phenomenon does not follow a predictable pattern. In addition, online rumors are often inaccurate.”

If the Paektu Mountain erupts, heavy volcanic ash carried by wind could pollute Korea. With worsening air quality, people will become vulnerable to developing respiratory diseases. Scientific research additionally suggests a large majority of crops could also be damaged by the ash.