Amrok or Amnok (압록강;鴨綠江)
|Etymology||Manchu, "the boundary between two countries"|
|Countries||China (PRC) and North Korea (PRK)|
|Provinces||Jilin (PRC), Liaoning (PRC), Ryanggang (PRK), Chagang (PRK), North Pyongan (PRK), Sinuiju SAR (PRK)|
|Source||South of Heaven Lake, PRC-DPRK border, Paektu Mountain|
|Length||790 km (490 mi)|
|Traditional Chinese||鴨 綠 江|
|Simplified Chinese||鸭 绿 江|
|Chosŏn'gŭl||압 록 강|
|Hancha||鴨 綠 江|
The Yalu River,known by Koreans as the Amrok River or Amnok River,is a river on the border between North Korea and China. Together with the Tumen River to its east,and a small portion of Paektu Mountain,the Yalu forms the border between North Korea and China. Its valley became the scene of several military conflicts in the past centuries.
Two theories are given regarding the origin of the river's name. One theory is that the name derived from Yalu ula (ᠶᠠᠯᡠ
ᡠᠯᠠ) in the Manchu language. The Manchu word yalu (ᠶᠠᠯᡠ) means "the boundary between two countries". In Mandarin Chinese,yālù phonetically approximates the original Manchu word,but literally means "duck green",which was said to have been once the color of the river. The other theory is that the river was named after the combination of its two upper branches,which were called " 鴨 " (Yā or Ap) and " 綠 " (Lù or R(or n)ok)",respectively.
Revised Romanization of Korean spelled it Amnokgang (Korean pronunciation: [amnok.k͈aŋ] ;"Amnok River") and Revised Romanization of Hangeul spelled it Aprokgang (Korean pronunciation: [amnok.k͈aŋ] ;"Aprok River").
From 2500 m above sea level on Paektu Mountain on the China–North Korea border,the river flows south to Hyesan before sweeping 130 km northwest to Linjiang and then returning to a more southerly route for a further 300 km to empty into the Korea Bay between Dandong (China) and Sinuiju (North Korea). The bordering Chinese provinces are Jilin and Liaoning.
The river is 795 kilometers (494 mi) long and receives water from over 30,000 km2 of land. The Yalu's most significant tributaries are the Changjin (장진강;長津江),the Hochon (허천강;虛川江),the Togro (독로강;禿魯江) rivers from Korea and the Ai (or Aihe) (璦河) and the Hun (浑江) from China. The river is not easily navigable for most of its length. Most of the river freezes during winter and can be crossed on foot.
The depth of the Yalu River varies from some of the more shallow parts on the eastern side in Hyesan (1 meter (3 ft 3 in)) to the deeper parts of the river near the Yellow Sea (2.5 meters (8 ft 2 in)). The estuary is the site of the Amrok River estuary Important Bird Area,identified as such by BirdLife International.
About 205 islands are on the Yalu. A 1962 border treaty between North Korea and China split the islands according to which ethnic group was living on each island. North Korea possesses 127 and China 78. Due to the division criteria,some islands such as Hwanggumpyong Island belong to North Korea,but abut the Chinese side of the river.
The river basin is the site where Goguryeo rose to power. Many former fortresses are located along the river and the former capital of that kingdom was situated at what is now the medium-sized city of Ji'an,Jilin along the Yalu,a site rich in Goguryeo era relics.Wihwa Island on the river is historically famous as the place where,in 1388,General Yi Songgye (later Taejo of Joseon) decided to turn back his army southward to Kaesong in the first of a series of revolts that eventually led to the establishment of the Joseon dynasty.
The river has been the site of several battles because of its strategic location between Korea and China,including:
The southern side of the river was heavily industrialized during the period of Japanese rule (1910–1945),and by 1945 almost 20% of Japan's total industrial output originated in Korea.
During the Korean War,the movement of United Nations troops approaching the river precipitated massive Chinese intervention from around Dandong. In the course of the conflict every bridge across the river except one was destroyed. The one remaining bridge was the Sino–Korean Friendship Bridge connecting Sinuiju,North Korea to Dandong,China. During the war the valley surrounding the western end of the river also became the focal point of a series of dogfights for air superiority over North Korea,earning the nickname "MiG Alley" in reference to the MiG-15 fighters flown by the combined North Korean,Chinese,and Soviet forces.As UN forces during the Korean War advanced toward the Yalu,China under Chairman Mao Zedong entered the war on the side of North Korea.
The river has frequently been crossed by North Koreans fleeing to China since the early 1990s,although the Tumen River remains the most-used way for such refugees.
According to one scholar,the Korean-Chinese border along the Yalu River is the longest unchanged international border in history,lasting for at least 1,000 years.
The river is important for hydroelectric power,and one of the largest hydroelectric dams in Asia is in Sup'ung Dam,106 m high and over 850 m long,located upstream from Sinuiju,North Korea. The dam has created an artificial lake over a portion of the river,called Supung Lake. In addition,the river is used for transportation,particularly of lumber from its forested banks. The river provides fish for the local population. Downstream of Sup'ung is the Taipingwan Dam. Upstream of Sup'ung is the Unbong Dam. Both dams produce hydroelectric power,as well.
In the river delta upstream from Dandong and adjacent to Hushan are several North Korean villages. Economic conditions in these villages have been described as poor,without access to electricity.
Hyesan is a city in the northern part of Ryanggang province of North Korea. It is a hub of river transportation as well as a product distribution centre. It is also the administrative centre of Ryanggang Province. As of 2008,the population of the city is 192,680.
Dandong,formerly known as Andong,is a coastal prefecture-level city in southeastern Liaoning province,in the northeastern region of People's Republic of China.
Sinŭiju;Sinŭiju-si, known before 1925 in English as Yeng Byen City) is a city in North Korea which faces Dandong,China across the international border of the Yalu River. It is the capital of North P'yŏngan province. Part of the city is included in the Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region,which was established in 2002 to experiment with introducing a market economy. In recent years,the city,despite lagging behind the development in the capital Pyongyang,has seen a small construction boom and increasing tourism from China.
The Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge,or China–North Korea Friendship Bridge,is a bridge across the Yalu or Amnok River on the China–North Korea border. It connects the cities of Dandong in China and Sinuiju of North Korea,by railway and roadway but pedestrians are not allowed to cross between either side. The bridge serves as one of the few ways to enter or leave North Korea.
The 1909 Gando Convention was a treaty signed between Imperial Japan and Qing China in which Japan recognized China's claims to Jiandao,called Gando in Korean,and Mount Paektu,and in return Japan received railroad concessions in Northeast China ("Manchuria"). After the Surrender of Japan,Gando Convention was de jure nullified. While China took control of Manchuria and the northwestern half of Mt. Paektu,the Korean government north of the 38th Parallel took control of the southeastern half of Mt. Paektu in addition to taking control of the Korean Peninsula north of the 38th Parallel.
The National Emblem of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is the coat of arms of North Korea,officially known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The current version adopted in 1993 is based on a design that was used since the foundation of the republic in 1948. Two previous versions were briefly in use in the late 1940s. Prominent features on the emblem are a red star,a hydroelectric plant and Mount Paektu. The design bears similarities to the emblem of the Soviet Union and other emblems of the socialist heraldic style.
Rail transport in North Korea is provided by Korean State Railway which is the only rail operator in North Korea. It has a network of over 6,000 km of track,of which the vast majority is standard gauge;there is,however,nearly 400 km of narrow-gauge lines (762 mm) in various locations around the country.
Sinuiju Chongnyon station,also known as Sinŭiju Ch'ŏngnyŏn station,is a railway station in Yŏkchŏn-dong,Sinŭiju-si,North P'yŏngan Province,North Korea. It is the northern terminus of the P'yŏngŭi Line of the Korean State Railway,and the starting point of the Kang'an Line,which is an industrial line serving the factories of Sinŭiju.
Supung Lake(수풍저수지) is an artificial reservoir on the border between North Korea and China. The lake has been created by a damming of the Yalu River by the Sup'ung Dam,located just upstream from Sinuiju,North Korea.
The Ji'an Yalu River Border Railway Bridge is a single-track railway bridge that spans the Yalu River and connects the outskirts of the Chinese town of Ji'an in Jilin Province with the North Korean town of Manp'o in Chagang Province.
The Sup'ung Dam,also referred to as the Shuifeng Dam and originally the SuihōDam,is a gravity dam on the Yalu River between Kuandian Manchu Autonomous County,Liaoning Province in China and Sakju County,North Pyongan Province in North Korea. The dam was constructed by the Japanese between 1937 and 1943 in order to generate electricity and has been repaired and renovated several times throughout the years,mainly due to spillway damage from flooding.
The New Yalu River Bridge,or Korea-China Amnok River Bridge,is a road bridge across the Amnok River between Dandong,Liaoning Province,China,and Sinuiju,North Korea. The cable-stayed bridge,which is 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) long including the supporting roads,is intended as a replacement for the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge. Construction began in October 2011 and is mostly complete and connected with Xingdan Road,but the project stalled between 2014 and 2019,with work unfinished on the North Korean side. By 2021,construction on the North Korean side has been mostly completed,with the bridge being expected to open soon.
The Changbai–Hyesan International Bridge is a bridge over the Yalu River,connecting Changbai Korean Autonomous County of Changbai City,Jilin Province,China,with Hyesan City of Ryanggang Province,North Korea. It was initially built in 1936 by the Japanese,and,after several destructions and rebuildings,was renewed in 1985 as the present-day bridge,which is 148 meters (486 ft) long and 9 meters (30 ft) wide. Since 1992,one-day,five-day and ten-day tours have been conducted between China and North Korea.
The Linjiang Yalu River Bridge is a bridge over the Yalu River,connecting Linjiang City,Jilin Province,China,with Chunggang County,Chagang Province,North Korea. It was built by the Japanese in 1938 and Linjiang Border Post is located there. A little downstream from the bridge is Yunfeng Dam.
The Tumen Border Bridge is a bridge over the Tumen River,connecting Tumen City,Jilin Province,China,with Namyang,Onsong County,North Hamgyong Province,North Korea. It was built in 1941 by the Japanese and is 515 metres long,6 metres high,6 metres wide. Tumen Border Post is located there. A little upstream from the bridge is Tumen Border Railway Bridge.
The Tumen River Bridge is a bridge over the Tumen River,connecting Hunchun City,Jilin Province,China,with Sonbong County,Rason,North Korea. It was built in 1938 by the Japanese Empire and is 535.2 metres (1,756 ft) long and 6.6 metres (22 ft) wide. It is located at Quanhedao where the Quan River meets the Tumen River.
The China–North Korea border is the international border separating the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). It runs for 1,352 km (840 mi) from the estuary of the Yalu River in the Korea Bay in the west to the tripoint with Russia in the east.
The Taipingwan Dam is a gravity dam on the lower Yalu River between China and North Korea. It is located about 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Dandong,Liaoning Province and Sinuiju,North Pyongan Province. The dam was first designed in 1978 and construction began in October 1982. The river was diverted in September 1983 and the first generator was operational on 25 December 1986. The three remaining generators were commissioned in 1987,and the dam was complete in July of that year. China built the dam and operates its 190 MW power station. Power from the dam is used by both China and North Korea.
The Yalu River Broken Bridge is a truncated railway swing bridge converted to a viewing platform and historical site. Constructed in 1911 by the Empire of Japan,it was the first bridge built across the Yalu River and connected the Chinese city of Dandong with the Korean city of Sinuiju,linking Japanese-ruled Korea to the Eurasian rail network. The bridge originally consisted of twelve truss spans supported by stone foundations in the riverbed. During the Korean War,the eight spans over the Korean side of the river were badly damaged by American bombing,and were subsequently dismantled. The bridge was not rebuilt. Instead,the remaining four spans over the Chinese side of the river were converted to a walkway,a viewing platform,and a historical site.