June 03, 2023

North Korea’s bike path

Sometimes illegal, sometimes encouraged, the North has an unusual relationship with bicycles

As everybody knows, East Asia once used to be a bicycle lover’s paradise. Since the early 1900s and until the advent of motor car in recent decades, people in Japan, China, Korea and Vietnam relied on bicycles as their major means of transportations. This is still the case in Vietnam and less developed parts of China, even though the motorbike seemingly pushes the old muscle-driven machine to the margins. But what about North Korea?

North Korea is a country of bicycles, even though the relations between the North Korean authorities and this self-propelled transportation contraption have sometimes been rather tense.