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Hamhung

Second only to the capital city, Pyongyang, in size and population, Hamhung is the provincial capital of South Hamgyŏng Province in the east of North Korea. Laid out on the eastern branch of the River Sŏngch'ŏn where it lets out into the Sea of Japan, the city is full of sites of interest and opportunities to delve into North Korean culture and modern history. Around 80% of the city was destroyed in the Korean War and it subsequently underwent massive reconstruction and development during the late 1950s. It is now an industrial city, a center for chemical innovation and trade and a major producer of machinery, processed food and fabrics, especially Vinalon. What's more, it is an important hub for education and arts, being home to a number of universities and colleges, as well as the largest theater in North Korea. Having opened to foreign nationals in 2010, Hamhung is not particularly used to tourism, and this inexperience only adds to its charm. Visitors to this city are sure to discover a destination with a fascinating history, having rebuilt itself after being ravaged by war and famine. A drive through the countryside offers the ideal opportunity for visitors to experience Hamhung's true way of life.

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