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Yalu River

The Yalu (Amnok) River is a river on the border between China and North Korea. The river's name is 鴨綠江 in Chinese characters, and is pronounced as Yalu Jiang in Mandarin and as Amnok-gang in Korean.

Table of contents
1 Geography
2 History
3 Economy


Rising 2,500 m above sea level on Baitou Mountain in the Changbai (Changbaek) mountain range, on the Chinese-North Korean border, the river flows south to Hyesan before sweeping 130 km northwest to Lin-Chiang and then returning to a more southerly route for a further 300 km to empty into the Korea Bay between Dandong (China) and Shinŭiju (North Korea).

The bordering Chinese provinces are Jilin and Liaoning.

The river is almost 800 km long and receives the water from over 30,000 kmē of land. The Yalu's most significant tributaries are the Changjin, Herchun, and Tokro rivers. The river is not easily navigable for most of its length: although at its widest it is around 5 km, the depth is no greater than 3 m and much of the river is heavily silted.


The river basin is the site where the kingdom of Goguryeo rose into power. The Great Wall of China's eastern end terminates at the river.

Because of its strategic location between China and Korea, the river has been the site of several battles, including:

The Korean side of the river was heavily industrialized during the Japanese Colonial Period (1910-1945), and by 1945 almost 20% of Japan's total industrial output originated in Korea. During the Korean War the movement of UN troops approaching the river provoked massive Chinese intervention from around Dandong. In the course of the conflict every bridge across the river except one was destroyed.


The river is important for hydroelectric power, and one of the largest hydroelectric dams in Asia is the Sup'ung-nodongjagu, upstream from Shinŭiju. It is 100 m high and over 850 m long.

See also: Geography of China