S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) 국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.03 (1994)
두만강 하류의 지역구조 연구 -경제특구입지를 중심으로
Regional Structure of the Lower Tumen River Area
- 이기석; 이옥희; 류충걸
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 지역종합연구소
- 지역연구, Vol.03 No.4, pp. 1-72
- The lower Tumen river area is located in the international boundary zone between North Korea, China, and Russia. This study region is a triangle shaped territory defined by the Chinese side of the river tributary and including Hunchon city. Since the United Nations Development Program(UNDP) launched an investigation for three development projects in Northeast Asia in 1991, this area has become a major designated area for the Special Economic Zone(SEZ) or the Export Processing Zone(EPZ) as well as an ideal key area to promote international cooperation among bordering countries. Also the Chinese local government is trying to develop this area as a gateway to the East Sea(Sea of Japan) together with the development of the Hunchun Border Economic Cooperation Zone. In relation to both the UNDP’s plan and the Chinese efforts, this study questions whether this project is feasible in terms of current regional structure which is spatially characterized by historical development of the region, physical conditions, population distribution and potential labor mobility, economic base and industrial structure, and network systems. To analyze this region, this study primarily relied on two field trips conducted in 1992 and 1994, as well as data collected from government publications.
The lower Tumen river area can be described as a region of consisting of both flood plain and a hilly mountainous zone. The flood plain is a low-lying area along the river side and frequently suffers from irregular flooding. The wide developments of the old-sand dunes on both sides of the river implies many complicated and unknown geomorphological processes. Severe winter and seasonal strong winds influence the way of life including the agricultural system, housing type, and customs. Developed 200 years ago, one of the region"s major characteristics is that a majority of the population is composed of Chinese-Koreans. Chinese-Koreans are a major source for the labor market and will play an important role for future development. Hunchun city’s population is approximately 200,000. The economic base of the city largely relies on the primary sector such as agriculture, mining, forest, and their related industries. The manufacturing sector is still not fully developed. Network systems such as roads, railways, and airports are not ready to support full scale development. Recently new railways extended to the city and continued to extend toward the Russian border region. The development of the Tumen river water way is potentially important for this region. However, since the river was blocked by Japanese in 1938 and still remains unopened, progress on this area has been slow. Progress is further hampered during a four month period in the winter when the river navigation is impossible. In addition, disputes in neighboring countries an annual sand deposition in the lower part of the river, further handicaps the development of the water way.
According to the analysis, the Tumen river area’s regional structure remains predominantly primary industry oriented due to the spatial pattern of land use and occupation composition. Low density population and a remote location from major urban and industrial areas influence the marginal character of the country. In spite of these unique regional characteristics, plentiful resources and the potential deposition of many kinds of resources increase the likelihood future development.
Unlike the South China coastal area, where an SEZ was estabilished 15 years ago, many of the Tumen river region’s structural characteristics ( including frequent flooding, strong winds and sand dunes, severe winter weather, and rugged mountains) are unsuitable for the establishment of a large scale of SEZ or EPZ. The existing population age structure may not be adequate to support the labor market on an SEZ. Because many firms would need to hire migrant labour forces from other parts