Supung Lake

Supung Lake is an artificial reservoir on the border between North Korea and China. The lake has been created by a damming of the Yalu River by the Sup'ung Dam, located just upstream from Sinuiju, North Korea.

Supung Lake
Location in North Korea
Location in North Korea
Supung Lake
Coordinates40°28′N 124°59′E / 40.467°N 124.983°E / 40.467; 124.983Coordinates: 40°28′N 124°59′E / 40.467°N 124.983°E / 40.467; 124.983
Primary inflowsYalu River
Basin countriesNorth Korea, China
Surface area274 km2 (106 sq mi)
Water volume14.6 km3 (3.5 cu mi)


The Sup'ung Dam was built between 1937 and 1943 by the Japanese forces during the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. When it was built, the dam was on China's land, and the power station on North Korea's land. It had the capacity to power all of Korea and Manchuria in electricity.[1]

On 19 December 1972, North Korea and China signed a protocol for the Joint Protection/Proliferation and Use of Fishery Resources (8 articles) regarding the management of the Supung Lake. Another protocol was previously signed in 1959 regarding the use of fishery in the lake, but only regional representatives had written and signed this protocol.[2]

Changsung ChaletEdit

The Korean-style tiled-roof Changsung Chalet on the shore of the lake is the property of the Kim Il Sung/Kim Jong Il dynasty. There is supposedly a tunnel directly connecting the chalet and inland China.[3]

In literatureEdit

The South-Korean writer Ko Un wrote a poem about a man who chip away the Supung Dam for decades to " resuscitate the old (Yalu) river". The dam eventually breaks and the water is drained out of the lake, revealing the ancient tombs of the Koguryo and Palhae periods.[4]


  1. ^ Daniel Gomà Pinilla, Border Disputes between China and North Korea,, 23 April 2007 (accessed on 9 October 2019)
  2. ^ Jin-Hyun Paik, Seok-Woo Lee, Kevin Tan, Asian Approaches to International Law and the Legacy of Colonialism: The Law of the Sea, Territorial Disputes and International Dispute Settlement, Routledge, 2013 (accessed on 9 October 2019)
  3. ^ Kim Jong Il, Where He Sleeps and Where He Works,, 15 March 2005 (accessed on 9 October 2019)
  4. ^ Karen Thornber, Ecoambiguity: Environmental Crises and East Asian Literatures, University of Michigan Press, 2012 (accessed on 9 October 2019)