(Photo) A Pyongyang citizen, arrested by a female traffic officer for riding a bicycle illegally. Photographed in July 2011 by Koo Kwang-ho (ASIAPRESS)

◆Increased traffic leading to rising accidents and fatalities

For now, there is only one traffic signal in Hyesan, but perhaps there could be more needed in the future. According to a March 2018 report, large trucks frequently pass through the city to nearby copper mines and, as of last year, 35 taxis operate across the city. In addition, Chinese-made motorcycles have become more popular over the last 7 to 8 years, helping transport shoppers and their purchases.

As Hyesan has become more and more crowded with vehicles, traffic accidents have become an all-too familiar sight to residents. In October of last year, it was reported that a pregnant woman on a bicycle was hit by one of the trucks transporting copper from the mines and died as a result.

Reports indicate that, while the number of ‘Caterpillars’ has decreased after the introduction of the traffic signal, mobile checkpoints are on the rise. (Kang Ji-won / ISHIMARU Jiro)

※ASIAPRESS contacts partners in North Korea through mobile phones smuggled in from China.

Editor’s notes on North Korean reporters

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