N.Korean E-Map of the Peninsula Unveiled

      March 18, 2010 07:54

      An e-map of the Korean Peninsula made in North Korea that includes detailed the geographic information of South Korea was made public on Wednesday.

      The map was obtained by Free North Korea Radio through a source close to the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, or Chongryon. It includes administrative districts, scenic spots, rivers and other useful information in both Koreas.

      Drawn up by the Pyongyang Information Center, the official agency in charge of computer software development, in 2001, the 196 MB e-map consists of about 1,000 computer files.

      Clicking on the executable file brings up an introductory screen with the caption "Samchonri, Latest Map of Korea." The background music is "Song of Nostalgia," which was allegedly composed by Kim Il-sung when he yearned for home as he fought as a member of a Chinese communist partisan unit.

      Maps of Pyongyang (top) and Seoul (bottom) in the North Korean e-map of the Korean Peninsula

      Hovering with the cursor over a certain point brings up the name of the administrative district and displays latitude and longitude. It also has a function to measure the straight-line distance between two areas. It is possible to choose English and Japanese in addition to Korean.

      Besides basic map enlargement and reduction functions, there has seven menu items on the left of the screen -- "administrative districts," "tourist attractions," "hot spring spas and mineral springs," "rivers, lakes and floodgates," "islands, peninsulas, and bays," "cities," and "mountains."

      Clicking on the "cities" menu brings up detailed maps of 13 North Korean cities, such as Pyongyang, Nampo, Kaesong, Rajin and Sonbong, and 12 major South Korean cities, including Seoul, Busan, Incheon, and Daejeon.

      The Pyongyang map is on a scale of 1:36,000, which makes it possible to locate major landmarks, including Kim Il Sung Plaza, Okryu Restaurant, the Ulmil Pavilion, Kim Il Sung University, the Yanggakdo Hotel, and the April 25 Cultural Hall. With the map of Seoul, it is possible to identify major universities, hospitals, and bridges over the Han River on a scale of 1:100,000 like other South Korean cities.

      The "tourist attractions" menu has five submenus -- "celebrated mountains," "caves," "waterfalls," "historic sites," and "others." “Celebrated mountains" lists 12 famous mountains in North and South Korea.

      The "data" button at the bottom of the screen leads to detailed explanations about administrative districts, scenic spots, hot spring spas, and rivers in both Koreas. The 500-word explanation about Seoul begins with "It was Bukhansan-gun during the Baekje Kingdom and the capital of the Chosun Dynasty for 500 years" and ends with "As of 2000, it consisted of 25 districts." The Pyongyang entry is about 900 words long.

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