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North Korea Table of Contents

North Korea

Transportation and Communications


Railroads, the main means of transportation, had a total route length of 5,045 kilometers in 1990. In 1990 railroads hauled 90 percent of all freight, with 7 percent carried on roads and 3 percent of transport hauled by water. The comparative figures for passenger traffic were 62 percent, 37 percent, and 1 percent, respectively. By 1990 approximately 63 percent of the rail network was electrified, an important factor in improving traction capacity in mountainous terrain. Two major lines run north-south, one each along the east and west coasts. Two eastwest lines connect P'yongyang and Wnsan by a central and a southerly route, and a part of a third link line constructed in the 1980s connects provinces in the mountainous far north near the Chinese border (see fig. 7). The railroad system is linked with those of China and Russia, although gauge inconsistencies necessitated some dual gauging with Russia. The Third Seven-Year Plan targeted an increase of 60 percent for railroad traffic through continued efforts in electrification, development of centralized and containerized transport, and modernization of transport management.

Data as of June 1993