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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.
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
 • 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; at that time it was an important port at the end of a railroad line. It was liberated by the Red Army in 14 August 1945.

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]



Rajin Station is on the Pyongra Line.

See also[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" (PDF). 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. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Dormels, Rainer. North Korea's Cities: Industrial facilities, internal structures and typification. Jimoondang, 2014. ISBN 978-89-6297-167-5

External links[edit]

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

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rason — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

8368 news items

Radio Free Asia
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 13:37:30 -0700

If approved, the funds would be redirected to rebuilding and restoration work in the Rason Special Economic Zone in northeast North Hamgyong Province. Heavy rains brought by the tail end of Typhoon Goni on Aug. 22-23 pounded Rason, causing ...

NK News

Daily NK
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 01:59:45 -0700

Two days of torrential downpours in Rason, North Hamgyong Province has wrought severe damage to the region. Today, Daily NK obtained exclusive photos today depicting the devastation left behind. Despite the week that has elapsed since the rain's onset, ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 04:03:35 -0700

Video footage has emerged that appears to show severe damage caused by recent floods in North Korea that killed at least 40 people, destroyed homes and ruined farmland in Rason city. Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said torrential rains ...
Yonhap News
Mon, 10 Aug 2015 19:37:30 -0700

BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Yonhap) -- North Korea will hold an annual trade fair next week in its Rason trade zone, which borders Russia and China, a Chinese state-run newspaper reported Tuesday. About 100 companies from Russia, China and Thailand are ...

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 23:11:15 -0700

National Disaster Response Team members discussing plans for distribution of relief items that are being released from IFRC emergency stocks in Pyongyang to the flood affected area in Rason City. Photo Credit: DPRK Red Cross Society ...


Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:52:30 -0700

Noch im Juni litt Nordkorea unter der schlimmsten Dürre seit 100 Jahren. Nun ist Land unter. Dutzende Menschen kamen dabei ums Leben. Am Wochenende regnete so stark, dass in der Stadt Rason die Flüsse über die Ufer traten und die Stadt ...

Korea Times

The Hankyoreh
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 21:46:20 -0700

“I have issued orders from the Supreme Commander for the People's Army to assume full responsibility for recovery from damages in Rason to be completed fully before the anniversary of the Workers' Party establishment [on Oct. 10], and organized a ...

Hindustan Times

Cortez Journal
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 06:07:30 -0700

Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency said Wednesday torrential rains on Rason city between Saturday and Sunday also destroyed 1,070 houses and 99 public buildings such as schools and hospitals. It says more than 300 acres of farmland have been ...

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