The city of Hamhung is the second-largest city in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and is the provincial capital city of South Hamgyong Province. The city sits on the left branch of the Songchon river as its flows in to the East Sea of Korea (Sea of Japan). The city was almost entirely destroyed during the Korean conflict and was rebuilt largely with the support of East Germany, an ally of the DPRK.

The city is also home to the largest theatre in the country, the Hamhung Grand Theatre sits on the city's central square and was constructed in 1984. 


Hamhung is a centre for the chemical industry in the country as well as serving as an eastern seaport, along with many other cities on the east coast, making up a part of the eastern trading network of the DPRK.

Similar to other northern cities, Hamhung is also a hub for heavy industry producing textiles, machinery, and metalware amongst other things.

The city centre in Hamhung
The Hamhung Grand Theatre in the centre of the city


The Hungnam district of Hamhung is the site of a major fertiliser factory, built by the Japanese during the occupation, which employs over 7,000 people. Hungnam was also the site of a major evacuation of United Nations forces in the aftermath of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir which took place in 1950 at Changjin Lake in South Hamgyong Province. Hungnam became a district of Hamhung in 2005, it is located a few miles outside of the main city on the coast and, prior to 2005, was administered as a separate county. 


The Pujon highlands are located north of Hamhung and are the site of the Pujon Revolutionary Site; this area was the site of a military camp housing officers and men of the anti-Japanese guerilla army during the occupation. The area is dedicated to a visit by Kim Jong Suk, the wife of the President Kim Il Sung, who was directed various anti-Japanese activities from the site throughout the 1930s. The region is also famous for its natural beauty.

Kim Jong Suk was born in neighbouring North Hamgyong Province in Hoeryong; her native house is also a revolutionary site.

The national and party flags draped on a building in Hamhung
The low-level skyline of the city

Korean State Railway

Transport Connections

Pyongra Line




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