A Tale of Two North Koreas

A Perennial Follower

Several months ago around the beginning of the Chinese summer, my partner and I took a short trip to visit her grandma in Yanji (延吉), a small city (by the standards of this country!) in the province Jilin (吉林). It’s a curious little area of China, home to many of the country’s sizable Korean minority to which my partner belongs to. Yanji is the capital of what is known as the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Region. The area is sometimes referred to as the “third Korea” and for good measure: about a third of the population is Korean and it is required by law to have signs written in both Chinese characters and Hangul (the Korean alphabet). As a result, travelling here feels rather different to other places in China and I recommend it to anyone who wants to get a little bit off the beaten track.

The city of Yanji…

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