The roads in North Korea just play a secondary role in linking major railroad stations and harbors or two nearby places. It also plays a role of major means of transportation where the railroad or marine transportation service is not available.

There are many limitations in transportation of bulk cargo between regions because of the nations mountainous terrain and its industrial structure centered around heavy and chemical industry. The government’s unwillingness for expansion of automobile transportation which will call for people’ s free movement and control over the use of oil have been the stumbling block to development of the roads in North Korea.

The North’s major highways are:

  • the Pyongyang-Soonan Highway (15km)

  • the Pyongyang-Nampo Highway (44km)

  • the Pyongyang-Wonsan Highway (189km)

  • the Wonsan-Mt. Kumgang Highway (114km)

  • the Pyongyang-Kaesung Highway (170km)

  • the Pyongyang-Hyangsan Highway (120km)

  • the Sariwon-Shinchon Highway (30km)

  • the total length comes to 682km

  • The Pyongyang-Nampo Highway was open to traffic on October 11, 2000, being a 12-lane (48m wide) one.

The network of trunk roads is established between Pyongyang and Shinuiju (229km), between Wonsan and Rajin (660km) and those linking east with west and those along the border with China. Major trunk roads have been well developed along with the railroads. Important regions are interconnected with first or second-class highways. The share of the roads for cargo transportation comes to a mere 12%.