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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: September 2013


from Historical Dictionary of Pyongyang


WANGXIAN CASTLE. This was the ancient fort, which was located in what is now the Rangrang district of Pyongyang. It was excavated by Japanese archaeologists and many artefacts were found showing an advanced civilisation. Many historians have identified the castle with the capital city of Lelang (Rangrang), which operated in the region from 108 BC to 313 AD. As Lelang acknowledged the supremacy of China, and many of the objects there are of Chinese design, the importance of Lelang in the history of Pyongyang has steadily been downplayed, as it shows foreign influences in Korean civilisation at such an early date. Much of the site has been built over by apartment blocks.

WEATHER. The climate in Pyongyang is known as a ‘humid continental climate’ and is relatively similar to that in New York City, with four main seasons, a relatively warm summer, and a very cold winter. In the spring, the temperature rises to an average of between 5 °C and 17 °C, with it reaching up to 29 °C in the summer, but falling back to between 6.7 °C and 18.2 °C in October, and going as low as −10.7 °C in January. People in the winter notice a high wind chill factor, although the scenery is particularly beautiful during this period. Generally, foreign tour parties are not allowed into the country in winter because of the intense cold.