US Korea Institute

Friday October 31st 2014
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Understanding North Korea’s behavior means understanding that it is not a hermit kingdom. As information steadily seeps into this reclusive state through technology, trade and personal exchanges, information about the North is also leaking out. We will scour a variety of sources to spotlight key North Korean localities, their people, schools, factories, hospitals and more. Should you happen to know of more resources either through your own research and/or travels, we invite you to be active in this process and send us relevant information and photos.

Hello Kitty, Hello Wonsan

Hello Kitty, Hello Wonsan

Wonsan, on the DPRK’s east coast, by all accounts, used to bustle—at least by DPRK standards. If the recent outreach between Japan and North Korea bears fruit, Wonsan could undergo a 21st century revival. Since Japan banned all trade with the DPRK in the wake of the disastrous Kim-Koizumi summit of 2002, Wonsan has been a shell of its [...]

Wonsan (원산시)

Wonsan (원산시)

Introduction    Wonsan (원산시), the capital of Kangwon province, sits on North Korea’s southeast coast. It is a small city in world terms, only 363,000 people, but is still the fourth largest in North Korea after Chongjin, Hamhung, and Nampo. When the sun shines and the sea air sparkles, Wonsan may be the prettiest city in the country; [...]

Spotlight on Sinuiju

Spotlight on Sinuiju

Introduction and Brief History Sinuiju City (신의주시),  the capital of North P'yŏngan province, sits on the Amnok (Yalu) River directly across from the Chinese city of Dandong. One of only two rail crossing points between the DPRK and China, Sinuiju is the North’s major gateway for rail and truck traffic. Much of Dandong’s foreign [...]

Credit for photo of young North Korean girl: T.M. All rights reserved, used with permission.