Introduction

On the Taedong delta, 55km southwest of Pyongyang, is Nampo (남포), North Korea’s most important port and centre of industry. Nampo made its name as the ‘birthplace of the Chollima movement’ after the workers at the local steel plant supposedly ‘took the lead in bringing about an upswing in socialist construction’, according to local tourist pamphlets.

Sadly there’s nothing much to see in the town itself, though it makes for an interesting glimpse at provincial life. The big attraction here – according to North Korean tour guides, anyway – is the West Sea Barrage, an important technical achievement that nonetheless makes for a fairly dull visit. There are some decent beaches about 20km from Nampo, which you may be lucky enough to visit if you come this way.