Chongjin a city is in the Donghae Coast region of North Korea.


Chongjin area

This is North Korea's third largest city and called the 'city of iron' owing to its status as a major centre of heavy industry.

Nothing to Envy

Nothing to Envy, by the American journalist Barbara Demick, is a partially novelized collection of interviews with six former residents of Chongjin, who later took refugee in South Korea. While the main plot revolves around the lives of six main characters/interviewees before and during the North Korean famine of 1990s and their eventual flight to South Korea, the book has lively depictions of Chongjin and the surrounding area, especially during the economic collapse of North Korea in the 1990s.

Get in

Chongjin Airport

It is not usually possible for foreigners to visit this city and does not frequently appear on tours. Independent travel is not permitted and Chongjin is not part of most North Korean accompanied group itineraries.

By rail

Chongjin is on the train line between Rason and the capital Pyongyang, as well as the southern city of Wonsan.

By plane

Chongjin Airport is 40km from the city, and Air Koryo flies to the North Korean destinations of Haeju, Pyongyang and Wonsan. There are plans to extend this airport and make it North Korea's second international airport.

Get around

By tram

Chongjin has 11 kilometre of tramline.

By Trolley bus

There is a trolleybus network slightly more extensive than the tramline.


Central Chongjin


The city is famous in the country for its processed squid.


Local drinking water is known to be untreated. Bottled water is the best choice. Some tourists have been hospitalized in North Korea after drinking the public water.




North Korean cities don't usually have foreign consulates, however Chongjin's important port status means it has two.

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