Rason

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This article is about the North Korean city. For the Australian politician, see Hector Rason. For his ministry, see Rason Ministry.
Rason
라선시
Special city
라선특별시 · Rason Special City
Korean transcription(s)
 • Hancha
 • McCune–R. Rasŏn T'ŭkpyŏlsi
 • Rev. Roman. Raseon Teukbyeolsi
Rason City.jpg
Location of Rason
Country  North Korea
Region Kwanbuk
Area
 • Total 746 km2 (288 sq mi)
Elevation 27 m (89 ft)
Population (2008)[1]
 • Total 196,954
 • Density 275/km2 (710/sq mi)
 • Dialect Hamgyŏng

Rason (formerly Rajin-Sŏnbong; Korean pronunciation: [ɾasʰʌn, ɾadʑin sʰʌnboŋ]) is a North Korean city and ice-free port[2] in the Sea of Japan (East Sea of Korea) in the North Pacific Ocean on the northeast tip of North Korea. It is in the Kwanbuk region and location of the Rason Special Economic Zone.

In South Korean pronunciation, the initial "R" of the name is pronounced as "N," as per standard Korean phonology. In 2000 the name was shortened from "Rajin-Sŏnbong" to "Rason". During the 1930s, the Japanese called it Rashin; it was an important port at the end of a railroad line.

Before 1991, Rason was used by the Soviet Union as an alternative warm water port in case Vladivostok was unavailable.[3] From 1993 to 2004, it was administered separately from North Hamgyŏng as the Directly Governed City (Chikhalsi) of Rason. Prior to 1993 and from 2004 to 2009, the city had been part of the North Hamgyŏng Province. Since 2010, the city is a "Special City", again breaking from provincial control but different to its older designation as a "Directly Governed City".[4] It is unclear what this means in practice.

Rason borders Jilin province of China and Khasansky District in Primorsky Krai of Russia.[2] China is making investments in the port as it gives it access to the Sea of Japan.[2][5] In July 2011, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) gave a green light to the China's domestic trade cargo to be shipped via its port of Rajin from northeast to east China.[6] Coal is shipped from nearby Chinese mines to Shanghai.[2] There is a casino by the sea which caters to Chinese visitors.[7]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Rason is divided into one district (kuyŏk) and one county (kun).[8]

Transport[edit]

Rail

Rajin Station is on the Pyongra Line.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DPR Korean Central Bureau of Statistics: 2008 Population Census (Population 2008, published in 2009)
  2. ^ a b c d Andray Abrahamian (September 2011). "Report on Rason Special Economic Zone". Choson Exchange. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Robinson, Thomas W (January 1982). "The Soviet Union and Asia in 1981". Asian Survey. A Survey of Asia in 1981: Part I 22 (1): 13–32. doi:10.1525/as.1982.22.1.01p0334u. 
  4. ^ "Rasun Becomes Special City". Daily NK. 5 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "Strategic Implications of China's Access to the Rajin Port". The Jamestown Foundation. 18 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "DPRK allows China domestic trade cargo to ship via its port". China Daily. 4 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Wong, Edward (12 October 2011). "Tending a Small Patch of Capitalism in North Korea". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "라선시 - 북한지명사전". North Korea Net. JoongAng Ilbo. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 

External links[edit]

  • North Korea Uncovered (North Korea Google Earth) Maps out Rason's economic infrastructure, including railways, hotels, tourist destinations, cultural facilities, ports, electricity grid, and electrified perimeter fence on Google Earth.

Coordinates: 42°20′40″N 130°23′04″E / 42.34444°N 130.38444°E / 42.34444; 130.38444