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Rason Directly Governed City
Korean transcription(s)
 • Chosŏn'gŭl라선특별시
 • Hancha羅先特別市
 • McCune-ReischauerRasŏn/Nasŏn T'ŭkpyŏlsi
 • Revised RomanizationRaseon/Naseon Teukbyeolsi
From top left: Bipaseom Island, Emperor Hotel and Casino, & Rason Hotel
From top left: Bipaseom Island, Emperor Hotel and Casino, & Rason Hotel
Location of Rason
Country North Korea
 • Total746 km2 (288 sq mi)
27 m (89 ft)
 • Total205,000
 • Density275/km2 (710/sq mi)
 • Dialect

Rason (formerly Rajin-Sŏnbong; Korean pronunciation: [ɾasɔn, ɾadʑin-sɔnboŋ]) is a North Korean city and ice-free port in the Sea of Japan 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". From 1993 to 2004 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".[1] It is unclear what this means in practice. Rason borders Jilin province of China and Primorsky Krai of Russia. China is making investments in the port as it gives it access to the Sea of Japan.[2] 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.[3] Coal is shipped from nearby Chinese mines to Shanghai. There is a casino by the sea which caters to Chinese visitors.[4]

Administrative divisions

Rason is divided into 1 ward ("Kuyŏk") and 1 county ("Kun").

  • Rajin-guyŏk (라진구역; 羅津區域)
  • Sŏnbong-gun (선봉군; 先鋒郡)



Rajin Station is on the Pyongra Line.

See also


  1. ^ "Rasun Becomes Special City". Daily NK. 5 January 2010.
  2. ^ "Strategic Implications of China's Access to the Rajin Port". The Jamestown Foundation. 18 March 2010.
  3. ^ "DPRK allows China domestic trade cargo to ship via its port". China Daily. 4 July 2011.
  4. ^ Wong, Edward (12 October 2011). "Tending a Small Patch of Capitalism in North Korea". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 October 2011.

External links

  • 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