China–North Korea border

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Sino-Korea Friendship Bridge, linking Dandong with North Korea
Inscription stone marking the border of China and North Korea in Jilin

The China–North Korea border (simplified Chinese: 中朝边境; traditional Chinese: 中朝邊境; pinyin: Zhōng Cháo Biānjìng; 조선민주주의인민공화국-중화인민공화국 국경, Chosŏnminjujuŭiinmin'gonghwaguk-Chunghwainmin'gonghwaguk Kukkyŏng ) is the international border separating China and North Korea. The border is 1,420 kilometres (880 mi) long.[1] The Yalu River,[2] Baekdu Mountain, and the Tumen River divide the two countries.[citation needed]

Unlike North Korea's border with Russia and the DMZ with South Korea, the China–North Korea border as of 2006 was relatively unguarded. North Korea's trade with China goes through the border.[1] A lot of the China-North Korea trade goes through the Chinese city of Dandong, Liaoning,[2] the largest city on the border.[3] In 2006 Norimitsu Onishi of The New York Times said that the border was North Korea's "lifeline to the outside world."[1]

Many refugees from North Korea cross into China through the border. The Chinese government transferred responsibility for managing the border to the army from the police in 2003. The Chinese government has tried to manage the refugee stream so that it does not destabilize North Korea. In 2006 the Chinese built a Chinese–Korean border fence; it mostly exists in areas where the Yalu River has low riverbanks and is narrower.[2]

Chinese cell phone service extends 10 km (6 mi) into Korean territory, which has led to the development of a black market for Chinese cell phones in the border regions. International calls are strictly forbidden in North Korea, and violators put themselves at considerable peril to acquire such phones.[4]

During Peter Hessler's visit to Dandong, he noted that a common wedding day event for many Chinese couples involve renting boats, putting life preservers on over their wedding clothes, and going to the North Korean border to have wedding photos taken.[5]


There are rail crossings along the border at Dandong, Ji'an and Tumen.

The Ji'an Yalu River Railway Bridge between Ji'an, Jilin Province and Manpo, Chagang Province of North Korea.

Dandong, in Liaoning Province, is 274 km east of Shenyang at the mouth of the Yalu River across from North Korea's Sinuiju in North Pyongan Province. This is the most heavily used rail connection between the two countries. Ji'an, upstream on the Yalu in Jilin Province and 400 km by rail from Siping, connects to Manpo in Chagang Province. Tumen, also in Jilin and 527 km east of Changchun is located across the Tumen River from Namyang, North Hamgyong Province.

There are four weekly trains with hard and soft sleepers from Beijing to Pyongyang, as well as a weekly carriage attached to the Vostok train from Moscow via Harbin, Shenyang and Dandong.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Onishi, Norimitsu. "Tension, Desperation: The China-North Korean Border." The New York Times. October 22, 2006. Retrieved on October 23, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Kanto, Dick K. and Mark E. Manyin. China-North Korea Relations. DIANE Publishing. December 28, 2010. 10. Retrieved from Google Books on October 23, 2012. ISBN 1437985114, 9781437985115.
  3. ^ Rogers, Jenny. "New group reaches out to China." Gold Coast Bulletin. October 2, 2012. Retrieved on October 23, 2012.
  4. ^ North Korea: On the net in world's most secretive nation (BBC)
  5. ^ Hessler, Peter (2006). Oracle Bones. New York et al.: Harper Perennial. p. 62. 
  6. ^ "Trans-Siberian Railway Tours" Accessed 2014-05-25