This article is about the North Korean city. For the Australian politician, see Hector Rason
. For his ministry, see Rason Ministry
Rason (formerly Rajin-Sŏnbong; Korean pronunciation: [ɾasʰʌn, ɾadʑin sʰʌnboŋ]) is a North Korean city and ice-free port 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. 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". It is unclear what this means in practice.
Rason borders Jilin province of China and Khasansky District in Primorsky Krai of Russia. China is making investments in the port as it gives it access to the Sea of Japan. 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. Coal is shipped from nearby Chinese mines to Shanghai. There is a casino by the sea which caters to Chinese visitors.
Rason is divided into one district (kuyŏk) and one county (kun).
Rajin Station is on the Pyongra Line.
- Dormels, Rainer. North Korea's Cities: Industrial facilities, internal structures and typification. Jimoondang, 2014. ISBN 978-89-6297-167-5
Coordinates: 42°20′40″N 130°23′04″E / 42.34444°N 130.38444°E