The Pyeongyang Project: Want to work with university students in North Korea?
The DPRK Economic Development and Cross-Border Interactions travel program examines the highly interconnected nature of Northeast Asian economies, cross-border interactions between China and the DPRK, and political as well as social relations between China, North Korea and South Korea. The program is highly interactive and involves working hands-on with North Korean, South Korean and Chinese students, academics and members of civil society.
Focus topics include: regional domestic politics, inter-Korean relations, historical lessons from China’s Opening and Reform, China’s relationship with the Korean Peninsula, international collaboration in the DPRK, cross-border movements and migration, Chinese economic policies towards the DPRK, the Rason Exonomic Zone and Greater Tumen Development Initiative, the DPRK’s plans for economic development and foreign direct investment, the DPRK’s domestic economy, the legacy of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, the international relations of Northeast Asia, South Korea’s economic rise, and South Korean’s global trade relations.
Day 1: May 29th (Wednesday): YANJI
Arrive in Yanji, the capital of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Northeast China.
Day 2: May 30th (Thursday): YANJI
Workshop day at Yanbian University. Students will participate in seminar-style lectures and classes with professors from Yanbian University’s Northeast Asia Research College. Topics covered will include: Chinese relations with the Korean Peninsula, the International Relations of Northeast Asia, North Korean students from a Chinese perspective, and economic development in the greater Tumen region. In the evening students will enjoy a group dinner with local Korean-Chinese students and professors.
Day 3: May 31st (Friday): YANJI / RASON
The group will depart in the early morning from Yanji city for the Quanhe border post. After clearing Chinese exit procedures, the group will enter the Rason Special City (similar to a Special Economic Zone) in the DPRK. After a group lunch in Rajin city, we will visit the Golden Triangle Exchange Bank and the Rajin Market, where North Korean citizens buy and sell goods freely. In the late afternoon we will participate in a language exchange activity with middle school students from the Rajin Foreign Language Middle School.
Day 4: June 1st (Saturday): RASON
Today is International Children’s Day, a holiday for school children across the world. The local schools will arrange events and sports activities that we may participate in throughout the day. Specific activities are only announced the day before, so today’s schedule will remain flexible.
Day 5: June 2nd (Sunday): RAJIN / CHONGJIN / KYONGSONG
In the morning we will stop off at the Rason immigration bureau office to pick up our travel permits for North Hamgyong Province. We will then continue to drive south, across the domestic border to Chongjin city (3 hours). Chongjin is the capital of North Hamgyong Province and is the third largest metropolitan area in the DPRK. Upon arrival in Chongjin we will visit the city’s central square and bronze statue of Kim Il Sung. We will then continue forty minutes south of Chongjin to Kyongsong, a town known throughout the DPRK for its revolutionary history as well as for its natural hot springs.
Day 6: June 3rd (Monday): KYONGSONG / CHILBOSAN
In the morning we will drive south through the remote countryside to Mount Chilbo (3 hours). In the afternoon the group will tour Haechilbo, along the Korean East Sea and can spend time on the local public beach. In the evening students will be divided into groups of four and be placed in homestays with local families in the area (more like family-run inns). Evening activities with the local families.
Day 7: June 4th (Tuesday): CHILBOSAN / CHONGJIN
During the day we will visit inner Chilbo, a spectacular mountain range and popular destination for local North Korean visitors. In the afternoon we return to Chongjin by road (4 hours). Upon arrival back in Chongjin we will visit a kindergarten near the Kim Chaek Ironworks Factory. If time allows, we will visit the international seamen’s club in the evening.
Day 8: June 5th (Wednesday): CHONGJIN / RASON
In the morning we will visit the Chongjin Revolutionary History Museum before continuing back north across the domestic border to Rason. After lunch in Rajin, the group will visit the port of Rajin, a public park in Rajin city, the Rajin Maritime University and enjoy a walk around the city and visit the Kimilsungia and Kimjongilia flower exhibition hall. In the late afternoon we will drive to Pipa, on the northeast coast of Korea.
Day 9: June 6th (Thursday): RASON / YANJI
In the morning we will drive to Tumangang, the last railway station in the DPRK before reaching Russia. There we will visit a watchtower where the tri-border between the DPRK, China and Russia is clearly visible. The group will then drive to Sonbong city to visit a local garment assembly factory and have lunch before returning to China over the Tumen River. We will arrive back in Yanji in the evening and have a debriefing session after a group dinner.
Day 10: June 7th (Friday): YANJI
In the morning the group will return to Yanbian University for two seminars on the importance of the Rason Special Economic Zone and cross-border issues between China and the DPRK. After lunch on campus, students will participate in a trust building afternoon with Pyongyang Project’s North Korean exchange students studying at Yanbian University. Dinner with the students.
Day 11: June 8th (Saturday): YANJI / SEOUL
Today the group will fly from Yanji to Seoul, South Korea in the morning. After clearing South Korean immigration and customs procedures at Incheon International Airport, we will transfer to downtown Seoul by bus.
Day 12: June 9th (Sunday): SEOUL
Free day in Seoul to explore the city and rest. We will plan an optional trip to the DMZ pending availability for those interested. In the evening we will plan a joint activity with a local NGO for those who are interested in participating.
Day 13: June 10th (Monday): SEOUL
We will participate in a lecture series at Kyungnam University (pending approval) on inter-Korean relations, South Korean economic growth, and the international relations of Korea. In the afternoon we will visit one of the diplomatic missions stationed in South Korea for a discussion on diplomacy, foreign policy and bilateral relations with the Korean Peninsula (in the past we have visited the Canadian, US, German and Taiwanese embassies or representative offices). Concluding group dinner in Seoul.
Day 14: June 11th (Tuesday): SEOUL
Formal conclusion of program in the morning. Departure from Seoul.
Fees are inclusive of transportation, one way flight between Yanji and Seoul, accommodation, lectures, guides, most meals, DPRK visa fees, Rason travel permit fees, tips for local guides.
Fees are exclusive of optional performance tickets, Chinese visa fees, some meals, personal spending, insurance, all expenses not explicitly mentioned above.
This program is open to all nationalities except citizens of South Korea. The application deadline is April 15th, 2013. To sign-up, please fill out the Online Application.