November 30, 2022
Analysis

Lively beach culture of North Korea’s ‘steel city’ revealed in satellite images

Chongjin locals covered coast in makeshift tents as beaches opened for first time in three years, imagery shows

On black beaches in the shadow of North Korea’s “steel city” smokestacks, thousands of people let loose in the waves and under hundreds of multicolored tents this summer to enjoy their first sand and surf in three years.

These were the surprising scenes revealed in newly released high-resolution satellite images of the northeast industrial city of Chongjin in August, showcasing the locals’ unique and lively beach culture at a spot rarely seen by outsiders.