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—  Directly Governed City  —
Rasŏn Directly Governed City
Korean transcription(s)
 - Chosŏn'gŭl 라선 특별시
 - Hancha 羅先特別市
 - McCune-Reischauer Rasŏn/Nasŏn T'ŭkpyŏlsi
 - Revised Romanization Raseon/Naseon Teukbyeolsi
From top left: Bipaseom Island, Emperor Hotel and Casino, & Rason Hotel
Country  North Korea
Region Kwanbuk Wp→
 - Total 746 km2 (288 sq mi)
Elevation 27 m (89 ft)
Population (2008)
 - Total 205,000
 - Density 275/km2 (712.2/sq mi)
 - Dialect Hamgyŏng

Rasŏn (formerly Rajin-Sŏnbong; Korean pronunciation: [ɾasɔn, ɾadʑin-sɔnboŋ]) is a North Korean city and ice-free port Wp→ in the Sea of Japan Wp→ in the North Pacific Ocean Wp→ on the northeast tip of North Korea. It is in the Kwanbuk Wp→ region within the Rajin-Sonbong Economic Special Zone. In South Korean pronunciation, the initial "R" of the name is pronounced as "N," as per standard Korean phonology Wp→. In 2000 the name was shortened from "Rajin-Sŏnbong" to "Rasŏn". From 1993 to 2004 was administered separately from North Hamgyŏng as the Directly Governed City (Chikhalsi) of Rasŏn. 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 Wp→ of China and Primorsky Krai Wp→ 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. Until 2004 there was a casino by the sea which catered to Chinese visitors.[4]

Administrative divisions

Rasŏn is divided into 1 ward ("Kuyŏk") and 1 county Wp→ ("Kun").

  • Rajin-guyŏk (라진구역; 羅津區域)
  • Sonbong Wp→ (선봉군; 先鋒郡)



Rajin Station is on the Pyongra Line Wp→.


There is a paved road from Yanji Wp→ in China. It is not possible for tourists to reach Rasŏn from Pyongyang by road.[5]

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", chinadaily.com.cn, 4 July 2011. 
  4. Wong, Edward. "Tending a Small Patch of Capitalism in North Korea", October 12, 2011. Retrieved on October 13, 2011. 
  5. Koryo Tours

External links and further reading

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

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