Haeju, North Korea

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Haeju, North Korea

Region: Haeju, North Korea

Geographic Coordinates: 38.033300, 125.717000
Temperature Range: -30.0°C to 35.0°C (-22°F to 95°F)
Population: 241599
Language: Korean

Haeju is a city situated in the southwestern region of North Korea, Acting as the capital of South Hwanghae Province and home to around 236, 000 residents. The city is located on the coast of the Yellow Sea and surrounded by mountains that offer a picturesque view. The history of Haeju dates back to ancient times when it was known as Haeso. During the Goryeo Dynasty, It became an essential center for trade with China and Japan. Later on, In the 16th century, Haeju was designated as one of Korea’s eight provincial capitals during Joseon Dynasty rule.

One of the most well-known landmarks in Haeju is its fortress that dates back to 1389. Visitors can explore this historic site since its walls are still intact today. Another popular attraction in Haeju is Janggyeong Palace built during King Sukjong’s reign in 1713. Haeju has several museums showcasing its cultural heritage such as artifacts from prehistoric times up until modern-day North Korea at South Hwanghae Provincial Museum or relics from Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) at Koryo Museum.

Due to fertile land and favorable climate conditions, Agriculture plays a significant role in Haeju’s economy through rice cultivation along with wheat, Barley, Corn, Soybeans and potatoes also being grown here. Tourism has become increasingly important for visitors seeking authentic experiences while visiting North Korea. Traditional Korean culture can be experienced through various activities such as attending traditional performances or trying local cuisine at one of many restaurants around town. Overall, Visitors can enjoy beautiful scenery along its coastline or explore several historic sites while getting a unique glimpse into North Korean culture and history when visiting Haeju.

Important Landmarks

  1. Haeju Fortress: A historic fortress built in the 14th century that offers stunning views of the city.
  2. Suyangsan Mountain: A beautiful mountain range located just outside of Haeju that is popular for hiking and sightseeing.
  3. Haeju Folk Park: A traditional Korean village that showcases the culture and lifestyle of people from the Joseon Dynasty.
  4. Gwanghwamun Gate: One of the main entrances to Haeju Fortress, which is adorned with intricate carvings and designs.
  5. Songhwa Temple: A Buddhist temple known for its beautiful architecture and serene atmosphere.
  6. Jangdae Hill Observatory: The highest point in Haeju that offers panoramic views of both the city and surrounding countryside.
  7. Changryongmun Gate: Another entrance to Haeju Fortress that features a large stone archway with decorative carvings.
  8. Seoam Rock Carving Site: An ancient rock carving site featuring over 30 different images carved into a cliff face overlooking the sea.
  9. Mangyeongdae Revolutionary Site: The birthplace of Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founding father, which has been turned into a museum showcasing his life and accomplishments.
  10. Mokran House Museum: The former residence of Choe Yun-ui, a famous scholar from the Joseon Dynasty who was known for his poetry and calligraphy skills.

Primary Industries

  1. Chemical industry: Haeju has a large chemical industry that produces fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals.
  2. Textile industry: The city also has a significant textile industry that manufactures clothing and fabrics.
  3. Food processing: Haeju is home to several food processing plants that produce canned goods, beverages, and snacks.
  4. Machinery manufacturing: The city’s factories produce machinery such as tractors, construction equipment, and machine tools.
  5. Shipbuilding: Haeju’s location on the west coast makes it an ideal location for shipbuilding activities.
  6. Agriculture: The region around Haeju is renowned for its agricultural production of rice, corn, soybeans among others.
  7. Fishing Industry – Due to its coastal location fishing is also an important part of the local economy.

Overall these industries are run by state-owned enterprises with limited private sector participation.

Noteable History

  1. Haeju was the birthplace of King Sejong the Great, who ruled during the Joseon Dynasty and is known for his contributions to Korean culture, including the creation of the Korean alphabet.
  2. During World War II, Haeju was occupied by Japan and served as a strategic location for their military operations in Korea.
  3. In 1950, during the Korean War, Haeju was captured by North Korean forces but later recaptured by United Nations forces.
  4. In 2008, a train explosion occurred in Ryongchon near Haeju that killed over 100 people and injured hundreds more.
  5. The city is home to several important cultural landmarks such as Suyangsan Fortress and Samsong Temple.
  6. Notable people from Haeju include Kim Jong-suk, wife of former North Korean leader Kim Il-sung and mother of current leader Kim Jong-un; Ri Yong-ho, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Kang Chol-hwan, author of The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Haeju Folk Museum: This museum showcases traditional artifacts and cultural relics of the region.
  2. Haeju Revolutionary History Museum: This museum highlights the revolutionary history of North Korea and its leaders.
  3. Sonam Temple: A Buddhist temple located in Haeju that dates back to the 9th century.
  4. Changryong Pavilion: A historic pavilion built during the Joseon Dynasty that offers scenic views of Lake Haeju.
  5. Mausoleum of King Kongmin: The tomb of King Kongmin and his queen is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located near Haeju.
  6. Jangsuwon Garden: A beautiful garden with traditional Korean architecture and landscaping.
  7. Songdowon International Children’s Camp: A summer camp for children from around the world located on the coast near Haeju.
  8. Taean Coast Natural Monument No. 17-1: A unique geological formation along the coast near Taean-ri village in Haeju-gun County.

Cultural Events

  1. Haeju Chrysanthemum Festival – This festival is held annually during October and November to celebrate the beauty of chrysanthemums.
  2. Haeju Seafood Festival – This festival is celebrated every year during August and September to showcase various seafood dishes of the region.
  3. Haeju Cherry Blossom Festival – This festival takes place in April when cherry blossoms are in full bloom across the city.
  4. National Sports Day – Celebrated on October 10th every year, this day is dedicated to promoting physical fitness among citizens through various sports activities.
  5. Kim Il-sung’s Birthday Celebration – On April 15th each year, North Koreans celebrate Kim Il-sung’s birthday with parades and other festivities throughout the country, including Haeju.

It should be noted that due to limited access for foreigners and media restrictions within North Korea, information about current cultural events may not be widely available or easily accessible outside of official government channels.


  • Haeju Cold Noodles (해주냉면) – This dish is a specialty of Haeju and consists of cold buckwheat noodles served in a chilled broth made from beef or chicken.
  • Grilled Eel (장어구이) – Eel is a popular seafood dish in North Korea and is often grilled over charcoal.
  • Naengmyeon (냉면) – This cold noodle dish is also popular in Haeju and typically consists of thin, chewy noodles served with sliced meat or vegetables.
  • Jangsuwon Restaurant (장수원식당) – This restaurant specializes in traditional Korean cuisine and is known for its grilled meat dishes.
  • Kwangbok Department Store Food Court (광복백화점 푸드코트) – Located inside the Kwangbok Department Store, this food court offers a variety of Korean dishes at affordable prices.
  • Chilsung Restaurant (칠성식당) – This restaurant serves traditional Korean dishes such as bulgogi, bibimbap, and kimchi stew.
  • Okryu Restaurant (옥류관식당) – One of the most famous restaurants in Pyongyang, Okryu serves traditional Korean dishes such as naengmyeon and kalguksu noodles.

Please note that travel to North Korea is heavily restricted for foreigners; special permission or guidance from authorities may be required to visit these restaurants.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Haeju Central Park
  2. Haeju Seaside Park
  3. Kangwon Provincial People’s Park
  4. Mt. Suyang Recreation Area
  5. Chongryu Pavilion and Botanical Garden

Depending on the park or area visited, visitors may engage in outdoor sports such as hiking, picnicking, boating, fishing and more recreational activities available to them.


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