Monday, August 20, 2012

North Korea Across the River

My nephew Daniel and the bridge to North Korea
My nephew recently got a business trip to Yanji, which is north and east of where he is living with his family in Shenyang, China.  Yanji is right on the North Korean border.

He writes:
My trip to Yanji was entirely last minute, due to an American citizen emergency.  It was a real blessing to be able to visit that part of the world during the summer, when everything is so beautiful.  It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful the North Korean countryside is.  What a stark contrast to its horrid, oppressive regime and the hard lives its citizens lead.
Yeah, don't worry, I can't read the sign, either.
These pictures are taken right on the border with North Korea.  The Tumen river separates China and North Korea in this region.  You can see the North Korean city of  Namyang in the distance.

Daniel said that this is a popular spot for Chinese Tourists, too.
Flags of China and North Korea
Just to give you some perspective of where Daniel was - here is a map of Yanji (covered by the big red "A" balloon) and the city of Tumen by the Tumen river.  The black line shows the border with North Korea:

Here it is in relation to the rest of the countries in the area.  China, North and South Korea and a bit of Japan are visible on the map.  You can also easily see Shenyang, where Daniel and his family live.  The same red "A" balloon marks the Chinese city of Yanji:

North Korean city of Namyang in the distance
It's hard to imagine the poverty and bleakness of the lives of so many just a few feet across this river.  The Chinese people live relatively free in comparison.
The bridge over the Tumen River
This area is far to the north and gets very cold and snowy in the winter.  Daniel was happy to be able to visit in the summertime.  Everything is beautiful and green!
There were lots of Chinese tourists

Another shot of the river
 The photo above is of the Chinese side of the river, I believe, with the city of Yanji in the distance.
On the road to the Tumen River Bridge
At first glance, this road could be anywhere in the world... until you see the sign in Chinese!  Again, I have no idea what it says.  It probably says there's a McDonalds at the next rest stop!

Or maybe it says, "Last chance for gas before North Korea".

Just kidding.

This has been a rare glimpse into a far corner of the world.  I hope you enjoyed seeing it as much as I did.

1 comment:

Marybeth said...

Love the pictures!