Rason is a "Special City" in northeast North Korea, in North Hamgyong Province. It is an amalgamation of the two cities of Rajin and Sonbong forming the Rajin-Sonbong Economic Special Zone. The name was shortened to Rason in 2000. It is an ice-free port which gives it key economic value in the region where it borders Jilin province in China and Primorsky Krai in Russia. The Russians are renovating the rail line from Russia to Rason, and the Chinese have invested in the port area which gives landlocked Jilin Province access to the East Sea.
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