[imText1]Pyongsung, a city located in the province of South Pyongan has recently been targeted as a scientific city transformed into distribution hub.
In the late 1960’s, North Korean authorities established Pyongsung as an area for scientific research with a population of 300,000.
In Pyongsung, there are 25 scientific research centers beginning with a nature centre. Further, there is Pyongsung Scientific University and a training centre for scientists and engineers. Pyongsung lies on the outer-skirts of Pyongyang near the districts of Soonan, Samsuk and Yongsung.
Park Chan Joo (pseudonym) a North Korean tradesman on business in Dandong, China introduced the changes occurring in Pyongsung in a telephone conversation with reporters.
Park currently works as an employee for the Myungjin Trade Company and imports goods needed for everyday living into North Korea.
Park said, “All goods made from China pass through Shinuiju and are generally dispatched from Pyongsung to each region for sale. This includes eastern regions such as Hamheung and Wonsan. Of course traders from Sariwon, Haeju and Nampo in southern provinces also come to Pyongsung to receive their goods.”
Regarding Pyongsung which developed into a distributor of imports, Park said, “The delivery cost is double if goods made from China pass through Shinuiju and are delivered directly to eastern and southern regions. However, stopping over at Pyongsung can make a profit on time and cost effective.”
Further, he said, “It’s close to eastern regions and in the vicinity of southern regions. This area has increasingly become an intermediary wholesalers district with the rise of warehouses.”
Park said, “We are located right next to Pyongyang where the population is greatest. Also, many Pyongyang citizens with high standards of living compared to other regions come and buy the goods.”
“It only takes about one hour to travel from Pyongyang to Pyongsung via car or train. Tradesmen and citizens must obtain a travel permit to enter Pyongyang, but any North Korean citizen can easily come to Pyongsung with an ordinary identification card. Nowadays, you can travel to any special district (excluding Pyongyang and border regions) as long as you have an identification card” he added.
Also, Park said “There are more and more people wanting to living in Pyongsung because of trade” and informed, “All this happened as Pyongsung changed into a centre for wholesalers. Even up until a few years ago, it wasn’t so hard to live in Pyongsung, but now you have to pay thousands of dollars to move in the area to Pyongsung’s People’s Safety Agency (police).”
As Pyongsung emerged into a distributors haven, more and more long distance bus services have been operated connecting rural districts to Pyongsung city.
Kim Jong Hoon (pseudonym) a Shinuiju resident who came to Dandong to visit his relatives said, “People with money hire second hand buses made from China and register the vehicle at the traffic registry and operate the services while offering some profits” and “It takes 3 days to get from Shinuiju to Dancheon in South Hamkyung. It took me 3 days to go to Pyongsung, then from Pyongsung to Wonsan and then Wonsan to Dancheon.”
Presently, the only direct bus services in operation from Pyongsung are to Shinuiju, Wonsan, Sariwon, Nampo and Haeju.