The Pothong River, which flows through the western part of Pyongyang and joins the Taedong River, is a witness to the time-honoured history of Pyongyang.
The river has the length of over 52km, and its basin covers almost flat areas, except in its upper reaches. As a result, the lowland areas along the Pothong River used to submerge by a little precipitation in the rainy season, and until Korea’s liberation (August 15, 1945) from Japanese military occupation the inhabitants of the west Pyongyang area regarded it as their inevitable fate to suffer from flooding every year.
President Kim Il Sung, busy as he was with founding the Party, establishing the people’s government and implementing the democratic reforms after national liberation, looked round the area and proposed a project of improving the river. On May 21, 1946, he attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the Pothong River improvement project, delivered a speech and broke the ground.
Thanks to the burning enthusiasm of Pyongyang citizens to transform the Pothong River area, the improvement project was completed in a short period of 55 days, and the area freed from the flood damages for good.
In the 1950s, during the periods of the postwar rehabilitation and building of the foundations of socialism, the area along the Pothong River was transformed into a resort for people’s cultural and leisure activities.
The Pothonggang Pleasure Ground was laid out in a wide area of over 300 hectares along the canal constructed in the original main stream of the river.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the heyday of the capital city construction, streets and architectural structures, such as Chollima Street, Ragwon Street, Changgwang Street, Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, People’s Palace of Culture, Pyongyang Indoor Stadium, Ice Rink, Changgwang Health Complex, and Chongnyu Restaurant, sprang up along the river.
The new century also witnessed eye-opening changes on the banks of the Pothong River.
High-rise apartment buildings, a department store and other service complexes mushroomed on the banks of the river, going well with the surrounding scenery, and other existing structures were facelifted.
The Pothong River is now changing with each passing day.