Risky Cities

Anju, South P'yongan, North Korea

Anju is a city located in South P'yongan, North Korea, with a population of approximately 240,000 people. The city is situated in the center of the country and is known for its agricultural production, particularly of rice and wheat.

In terms of crime rates, the official statistics from North Korean authorities are not publicly available, and it is difficult to ascertain the exact levels of crime in the city. However, it is generally considered that crime rates in North Korea are relatively low compared to other countries. The government's strict control over society and the heavy punishments for criminal activity may contribute to this trend.

While there is no specific information regarding the crime rates in Anju, travelers should always exercise caution and remain aware of their surroundings. Like in any unfamiliar city, it is advisable to avoid carrying large amounts of cash and to keep valuables out of sight. Travelers should also be careful when using public transport, especially at night, and be cautious when accepting offers of help or guidance from strangers.

In terms of the city's crime history, there have been instances of theft and pickpocketing reported in the past. In one notable case in 2016, two Chinese tourists were robbed and killed in the nearby city of Pyongsong, prompting the Chinese government to issue a travel warning to its citizens visiting North Korea. However, such incidents are relatively rare, and tourists can still visit the country if they take appropriate safety precautions.

There are no specific dangerous areas to avoid in Anju, but travelers should avoid wandering into areas that are off-limits to foreigners or taking photographs of sensitive military or government installations. It is also advisable to avoid political discussions and any criticism of the North Korean government or its leaders, as this can lead to serious consequences.

The safest times to be out in Anju are during daylight hours, when the city is bustling with activity and there are more people around. However, travelers should exercise caution at all times, particularly when traveling alone or in unfamiliar areas.

In terms of other safety advice specific to the city, it is important to note that the city's infrastructure is not well-maintained, and travelers should be prepared for uneven sidewalks, potholes, and other hazards. It is also advisable to carry a basic first-aid kit and any necessary medications, as medical facilities in the city are limited, and it may be difficult to obtain medication or medical assistance.

Travelers should also be aware of the local customs and etiquette, which may differ significantly from their home country. For example, it is customary to remove shoes before entering homes or certain public buildings, and it is important to show respect for the country's political and social systems.

While Anju is generally considered a safe city, travelers should exercise caution and remain aware of their surroundings at all times. They should take appropriate safety precautions, avoid political discussions, and respect the local customs and etiquette. With the proper preparation and awareness, visitors can enjoy a safe and rewarding experience in this fascinating and unique country.