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Digital map of North Korea released to public

Posted October. 31, 2012 22:37,   


A state-run geographical agency said Wednesday that it will release a digital map of North Korea that had been available exclusively to government agencies in charge of North Korean affairs.

The National Geographic Information Institute said the map with a scale of 1:25,000 will be put on public sale from Thursday. The map contains the latest status of urban development in North Korea, including buildings, roads and railroads, as well as the Stalinist country`s topography.

According to the map, Pyongyang in 2008 was about 10 times larger in area than 90 years earlier. A 1918 map made while Japan ruled the Korean Peninsula showed downtown Pyongyang centered on what is now the Jung district west of the Daedong River, which flows through the city.

On the 2008 map, other areas around the river were shown to have been developed into urban areas with many high buildings. The think tank produced the map with satellite images obtained from overseas, and chose to make the map public after consulting with other government agencies including the unification and defense ministries. The areas around the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas were deleted from the map for security reasons.

“The map will be helpful to researchers of North Korea or investors in the North who did not have access to an accurate map of the North,” a source at the geographical institute said. “We plan to produce a more detailed map with a scale of 1:5,000.”

Those wishing to purchase the map must report purpose of use to the institute. The map is priced at 17,500 won (16 U.S. dollars).