North Korea Gold 북한의 금

North Korean Gold

It is a well-known fact that the land in the southern Korean peninsular is well suited for agriculture while the land in the northern Korean peninsular is mountainous and less fertile.

North Korean coal being loaded onto ships at Rason.

International news often reports that North Korea regularly struggles with food production but what is seldom ever mentioned is North Korea’s abundance of raw minerals. The DPRK has approximately 200 different mineral types scattered across its territory. It is particularly rich in zinc, coal, graphite, magnetite, tungsten, copper, molybdenum, limestone and gold. I was told they also have plenty of rare earth metals that would be useful to the international electronics industry.

Panning for gold in North Korea

While traveling across the countryside, I was able to observe locals panning for gold in one of the rivers. They were swirling pans and using sluice boxes to prospect for the precious metal. That piqued my interest and the following year, I finally got to see a North Korean gold bullion coin minted from the Central Bank of the DPRK.

The largest DPRK gold coin I have seen was the 31-gram variety. I was told they have a one-kilogram gold coin but I never got to see it. The 22mm coin shown below is 1/4 troy ounce.

1/4 OZ North Korean Gold Coin
1/4 OZ North Korean Gold Coin

North Korea has so many untapped resources and unlimited potential. I have always believed that a unified Korea would be an Asian titan. By combining the strengths of both North and South, a One-Korea would bring long-lasting stability to Asia and cause the entire region to overshadow the west. That’s just my personal view. Working towards that reality would, of course, require a monumental effort from both the North and South Korean governments.

Related

China-DPRK Border Towns During The Covid Pandemic (PART 2 – Tumen)

Part 2 of exploring Chinese towns at the border with the DPRK during the 2021 COVID-19 pandemic. We follow Minhye as she takes a trip to Tumen City (图们市). Tumen city is a small town that is part of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, located in Jilin Province in northeast China. It has an ethnic Korean population of approximately 80,000.

China-DPRK Border Towns During The Covid Pandemic (PART 1 – Changbai)

Since January 2020, the DPRK has shut its borders due to the COVID-19 virus. China has also implemented strict border controls to maintain their zero-COVID strategy. It has been almost two years since tourism halted between these two friendly neighbours. With no more tours to the DPRK being offered, what is life and tourism like in the Chinese border towns during such times? Our resident contributor made recent trips to visit border towns along the Yalu River and Tumen River. Join Minhye on her journey as she explores the Changbai Korean Autonomous County