Sonbong, formerly called Unggi (Hanja
Hanja is the Korean name for the Chinese characters hanzi. More specifically, it refers to those Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation...

: 雄基), is a subdivision of the North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

n city of Rason. It is located at the northeastern extreme of North Korea, bordering Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. It lies on Unggi Bay, an extension of the Sea of Japan
Sea of Japan
The Sea of Japan is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, between the Asian mainland, the Japanese archipelago and Sakhalin. It is bordered by Japan, North Korea, Russia and South Korea. Like the Mediterranean Sea, it has almost no tides due to its nearly complete enclosure from the Pacific...

 (East Sea of Korea)
Sea of Japan naming dispute
The international name for the body of water which is bordered by Japan, North Korea, Russia, and South Korea is disputed. The Japanese government supports the use of the name "Sea of Japan", while South Korea supports the name "East Sea", and North Korea supports the name "East Sea of Korea"...

. A uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

 mine is allegedly located there, as is a 200 megawatt oil-fired power plant. The word Sonbong means "Vanguard" in Korean.


Sonbong is North Korea's rail link to Russia. A rail bridge crosses the Tumen River
Tumen River
The Tumen River is a 521 km-long river that serves as part of the boundary between China, North Korea, and Russia, rising in Mount Baekdu and flowing into the Sea of Japan....

 between the border rail stations of Tumangang Workers' District
Tumangang Workers' District is a town in Sonbong, Rason, North Korea. It is the closest town of North Korea to the border with Russia. Tumangang sits on the Tumen River, and across the river is the Russian town of Khasan. A train connects Khasan with Tumangang and from there to Rason. A road also...

, Sonbong, and Khasan
Khasan is an urban locality in Khasansky District of Primorsky Krai, Russia. Population: Khasan is the only Russian settlement on the border with North Korea. It lies near Lake Khasan and the Tumen River...

, Russia. This connection lies on one of two proposed paths for linking South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 by rail to the Trans-Siberian Railroad and the rest of Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

, the other being through Sinuiju
Sinŭiju is a city in North Korea, neighboring with Dandong City, China via international border and is the capital of North P'yŏngan Province...

. The rail link through Sonbong is lightly used, carrying only 10,000 passengers in 2005.

Sonbong is one terminus of the Hambuk Line railroad. It is also served by roads.

External links

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