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Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region (North Korea)

Last modified: 2021-08-25 by ian macdonald
Keywords: magnolia | north korea | sinŭiju |
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[Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region (North Korea)]
image by Arnaud Leroy and Tai yu-liang

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PYONGYANG, September 20 (KCNA) -- The Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region has come into being according to a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly adopted the Basic Law of the Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region on September 12, 2002.

The law consists of six chapters (government, economy, culture, fundamental rights and duties of residents, structure and emblem and flag of the region) and a total of 101 articles.


The region shall use not only the emblem and flag of the DPRK but also its own emblem and flag and the order of their use shall be established by the region.

The region shall apply no other laws but the DPRK laws concerning nationality, emblem, flag, anthem, capital, territorial waters, territorial air space and national security.

Arnaud Leroy, 12 Nov 2002

I have received a fax from the North Korean embassy (cultural attaché) answering my request for more info on this flag. According to this fax, the flower is a "magnolia", adopted as the North Korean national flower in 1991. The actual species is the magnolia sieboldii.Marcus Schmöger, 06 Dec 2002

The Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region was a proposed special administrative region (SAR) of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, on the border with China. It was established in September 2002 in an area including parts of Sinŭiju and the surrounding area, in an attempt to introduce market economics, and is directly governed as in the case of "Directly Governed Cities". The special administrative region was modelled after China's Special Administrative Regions (SARs), Hong Kong and Macau, and, like them, has a "Basic Law."
Chinese-Dutch businessman Yang Bin was appointed to be the first governor by the SPA Presidium in 2002. Before he formally assumed his post, he was arrested by Chinese authorities and sentenced to 18 years in prison for tax evasion and other economic crimes. While the North Korean authorities soon announced that the development of the Sinŭiju SAR would continue and the SAR was put under the administration of its Commission of Foreign Economic Cooperation Promotion, the plans for the SAR seem to have been abandoned. As of April 2008, the SAR reforms still have not been put into effect, and it is widely believed that North Korea has abandoned the project after the governor's arrest.
Jens Pattke, 27 September 2009


[Sinŭiju regional flag]
image located by Jens Pattke, 27 September 2009

The logo of the Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region presented a white Siebold's Magnolia (Magnolia sieboldii) at light blue backround. The inscription above reads: Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk (Democratic People's Republic of Korea). Below, the inscription on the tape is: Sinŭiju T'ŭkpyŏl Haengjŏnggu (Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region).
Jens Pattke, 27 September 2009