Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The river flows from North Korea to Russia

Tumen is a small river between three countries: North Korea, Russia, and China.

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Originating from Paektu Mount in the Changbai Mountains where is the Korean-Chinese border, the Tumen River flows into the Sea of Japan. Its name is derived from the Mongolian language Түмэн, which means "thousand". The Chinese call it Mormon Jiang, while the Koreans name it Duman-gang.
Tumen River
The bridge connects North Korea to China. Photo: Benjamin Lower.
The Tumen upstream lies between North Korea and China. The river also marks Korea's short border with Russia, about 8 km.

Tumen River
Tumen is more than 500 km long. Photo: BBC.
In the downstream of the river, China has a narrow portion of territory between Russia and North Korea. If you cross the river at this section, you will pass about 1.6 km of North Korean water, 90 meters of Chinese water and a Russian water area before reaching the shore.

The river has a less rugged terrain than the Yalu stream with mild water and narrow river bed, so tens of thousands of refugees from North Korea crossed the river to flee to China. Dien Cat City, just 24 km from the border, now has 30% of Korean speakers.

The Tumen River today is heavily polluted by factories built along the banks of China and North Korea, but it remains one of the most popular destinations in the region. There are now many cruise tours for Chinese tourists on the river.

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