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In this article, I address North Korea both in its latent stage and the reframing of its early political narratives to support the function and authority of its current government. These narratives of nationalistic and political struggle expand across geographic boundaries and are also bound by them—hence my focus on the Tumen River. Secondarily, I consider the reframing of riverine spaces within the terrain of Pyongyang’s contemporary politics, and recent examples of reenactment for commemorative purposes of historically and politically important crossings of North Korea’s northern rivers. Together, these analytic elements suggest the key position of rivers in both the bounding and unbounding of North Korean history, politics, ideology, and nationhood.