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Jan S. Krogh's Geosite: Chinese - North Korean (CNKP) Border

Dry land boundary

North Korean side of CNKP Border marker 4 (1990) on the top of on top of Changbai Shan / Paektu-san. Photo: Eckart Dege.

China and North Korea shares only about 45 km dry land border, out of a common about 1400 km boundary which streches from the Yellow Sea in west to the Sea of Japan in east. The remaining lenght is divided on 803 km along Yalu River (in west) and 530,8 km along Tumen River (in east). Between the two rivers is this dry lenght at Mount Paektu. 

Chinese side of CNKP Border marker 5 (1990) on the top of Changbai Shan / Paektu-san. Photo: Eckart Dege.

Chinese side of CNKP Border marker 37 (2009). This is situated on the same place as marker no 5 (1990). As the number is higher it seems there has been a new Chinese-North Korean border demarcation in 2009. 1)  The photo is taken in Autumn 2009.

The same marker as above, but watched from the North Korean side. 1)

Sino-Korean bordermarker no 6 east of Paektu-san. Photo: Wansik Ahn

Sino-Korean bordermarker no 13 (1960?) between Tuman-gang and Paektu-san.  Photo: Eckart Dege.

Sino-Korean bordermarker no 21 (1963) near the source of the Tumen Jiang. Photo: Eckart Dege.

Map over the area with bordermarker numbers. The divided Lake Chonji (Chinese) or Lake Chon (Korean) is located between marker 5 (1990)/ 37 (2009) and marker 6 (1990).

Wet land boundary (River)

The new bridge (left) and the old and partially destroyed old bridge (right). Watched from Dandong, China over Yalu River in 
direction of Sinuiju, North Korea.
2)  Both Chinese-North Korean border rivers are condominia, but river islands are not. It is unclear 
how the ownership of bridges is governed.


On bord train from Sinuiju to Dandong; in northern direction: North Korean land to right and Dandong on the other side of the joint Chinese-North Korean Yalu River.

The train is now both in North Korea and in China.


This was Geosite's Jan S. Krogh's first visit inside a condominium!


Yalu River towards south: The old and damaged bridge streches about 356 metres, while the total width of the river is 641 metres (see map below). On it's eastern end it is closer to North Korea than it is to China. But since it is in a condominium and since it cannot be reached from North Korea, it is de facto (and possibly also de jure) administrated by China. 

Here a 1930 map is overlaid an orthomap. 3)  We can see the old bridge on the topographical map and the new bridge from the photography. At this time the border followed the river midline.

Only the Chinese-North Korean border rivers themselves make condominia; not the river islands.  We do not know what is agreed concerning manmade structures which are permanently located on or in the river. 



2. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

3. Source: Japanese book "Series of Japanese geography and folk culture: Vol.17" published by Shinkosha.

First time published on 10.101.11.  This page was last time updated on 04.03.12