Sinuiju Special Administrative Region

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Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region
Flag of the Sinuiju Special Administrative Region.svg
Emblem of the Sinuiju Special Administrative Region.svg
Map of Sinuiju SAR (EN).svg
Map of Sinuiju Special Administrative Region, with the region highlighted in pink
Country North Korea
Region Kwansŏ
  TypeSpecial Administrative Region with its own Basic Law
  Total132 km2 (51 sq mi)
 (1998 (est.))
  Density2,600/km2 (6,900/sq mi)
Dialect P'yŏngan
Split from North P'yŏngan in 2002.
Sinuiju Special Administrative Region
Revised Romanization Sinuiju Teukbyeol Haengjeonggu
McCune–Reischauer Sinŭiju T'ŭkpyŏl Haengjŏnggu
Revised Romanization Sinuiju
McCune–Reischauer Sinŭiju
A train station in Sinuiju City, Sinuiju SAR. Sinuiju Railway Station DPRK.jpg
A train station in Sinŭiju City, Sinuiju SAR.

Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region is a special administrative region (SAR) of North Korea proclaimed in 2002 (but has yet to be put into "de facto" operation), on the border with China. It was established in September 2002 [1] in an area including parts of Sinŭiju and the surrounding area, in an attempt to introduce market economics, and is directly governed as in the case of "Directly Governed Cities". The special administrative region was modelled after China's Special Administrative Regions (SARs), Hong Kong and Macau, and, like them, has a "Basic Law" (기본법; Kibonpŏp).


Chinese-Dutch businessman Yang Bin was appointed to be the first governor by the SPA Presidium in 2002. Before he formally assumed his post, he was arrested by Chinese authorities and sentenced to 18 years in prison for tax evasion and other economic crimes. While the North Korean authorities soon announced that the development of the Sinŭiju SAR would continue and the SAR was put under the administration of its Commission of Foreign Economic Cooperation Promotion, the plans for the SAR seem to have been abandoned. As of April 2008, the SAR reforms still have not been put into effect, and it is widely believed[ who? ] that North Korea has abandoned the project after the governor's arrest. Julie Sa (沙日香) was appointed governor in 2004. [2]

Between 2013 and 2018, a smaller Sinuiju International Economic Zone was developed, backed by the state-owned Sinuiju Zone Development Corporation. It hopes to develop high value projects such as software development, computer manufacturing and trade-related services. [3]

Area included in the Special Administrative Region

The order below follows the order given in the original decree (in Korean) .

Sinŭiju city (신의주시; 新義州市)

Ŭiju county (의주군; 義州郡)

Yŏmju county (염주군; 鹽州郡)

Ch'ŏlsan county (철산군; 鐵山郡)

Due to the areas included in the Special Administrative Region, it is not one single contiguous region, as to get from Sinŭiju city to Yŏmju county, one must pass through another county outside the region first.


The SAR is served by rail at the Sinuiju Cheongnyeon Station. This station is a terminus station for trains from Pyongyang. Rail traffic from the station continues across the Sino–Korean Friendship Bridge over to China over the Yalu River. Public transport consists of trolleybuses.


A few factories exist in Sinuiju, some producing consumer products for local use. [4]

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  1. in 12 Sept. 2002 by the Standing Committee of Supreme People's Assembly
  2. Californian May Oversee N. Korea Economic Zone, Los Angeles Times , September 8, 2004
  3. Clément, Théo (28 October 2019). "Failed Attempts at Cross-Border Economic Integration: The View from Sinuiju". 38 North. The Henry L. Stimson Center. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  4. "Sinuiju Travel Guide | KTG® Tours | North Korea".

Coordinates: 40°06′02″N124°23′37″E / 40.10056°N 124.39361°E / 40.10056; 124.39361