Chagang Province

Last updated
Chagang Province
Korean transcription(s)
   Hancha 慈江
Chagang-do in North Korea.svg
CountryFlag of North Korea.svg  North Korea
Region Kwansŏ
Capital Kanggye
Subdivisions3 cities; 15 counties
  Party Committee Chairman Kang Bong-hun (WPK)
  People's Committee Chairman Ri Hyong-gun [1]
  Total16,613 km2 (6,414 sq mi)
  Density78/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+9 (Pyongyang Time)
Dialect Pyongan

Chagang Province (Chagangdo; Korean pronunciation:  [tɕa.ɡaŋ.do] ) is a province in North Korea; it is bordered by China's Jilin and Liaoning provinces to the north, Ryanggang and South Hamgyong to the east, South Pyongan to the south, and North Pyongan to the west. Chagang was formed in 1949, after being demarcated from North Pyongan. The provincial capital is Kanggye. Chagang is the only province of North Korea which is completely inaccessible to tourists, however in 2019 Manpo became accessible to tourist. One reason it was believed to be inaccessible to tourist was due to the province being known for its weapons and nuclear weapon facilities and factories located within the province. [2] In May 2018, the province became a "Special Songun (military first) Revolutionary Zone" in relations to concealing the nuclear weapon and weapon's factories within the province. [3]



Chagang Province is located in the northwestern part of Korea. It is a mountainous province; with the mountainous area amounting to 98 per cent of its total area. The mean height above sea level is 750 meters and the slope of most regions is 15 to 40 degrees.

The province has a distinct continental climate under the influence of the Asian continent. It has very cold and long winters, and brief springs and falls. The climate is characterized by great differences in daily and yearly temperature. In summer, downpours of rain and hail are frequent. Thus thunder and lightning occur frequently.

The province has great mineral wealth, and is North Korea's main source of lead, zinc, gold, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, antimony, graphite, apatite, alunite, limestone, calcium carbonate, anthracite and iron ores. There are also crystals and valuable gems there.

Main cities and economic activities

The province abounds in underground, forest and water resources. Before the Korean War, Chagang province was an isolated land with only two primitive mines, one timber mill and a distillery.

Nowadays, it has power, machine, chemical, light, mining and timber industries. Its total industrial output is 1000 times as much as just before the war.[ citation needed ]

The majority of North Korea's underground military industrial facilities are located in Chagang Province, [4] including portions of their weapons of mass destruction program. [5]

Kanggye is the capital city of Chagang Province. One of the main economic timber processing factories of the province, and the country, is located in Kanggye.

Huichon is the most developed city in the province, though. Its development dates back to the Korean War, when it became one of the cities of industrial relocation, as it was isolated and far from the main battlefields.

Nowadays, Huichon has several industries, such as a huge machine tool factory, silk mill and a hard glassware factory. In Huichon there is the main North Korean University of Telecommunications.

Chagang was one of the less developed and isolated provinces in North Korea after liberation in 1945. The terrain made farming difficult and only slash-and-burn farmers tilled mountain plots to eke out a living.

Nowadays, farming activities are mainly linked with livestock activities. One example is Hungju Farm.

Tourism in Chagang Province

The Chagang Province for a while was the only province in North Korea that tourists could not go to. The main reason believed to be why they were not allowed to was due to the province being home to weapons and nuclear weapon factories and sites. Prior to April 2019, the only part that was accessible for tourist in the Chagang Province was the Huichon Hotel. [6]

However in April 2019, the province was opened to tourist in which they could go to the city of Manpo. The city is located right across the river from China. [7]

Small and medium-size power stations

The province has been converted into a power base for the country, with the construction of Kanggye Youth Power Station, Unbong Power Station, Jangjagang Power Station and other large hydroelectric power stations.

The province has built since the 90s many small and medium-sized power stations, as a duty of the local authorities. Log-dam, water-course, raft and sluice were among the efficient methods practised in their construction.

Small hydraulic turbines, with a capacity of 2 kW to 70 kW, were developed by local technicians to dramatically increase the generating capacity.

Administrative divisions

Chagang is divided into 3 cities (si) and 15 counties (gun).

Name Chosongul Hanja Population
(2008) [8]
Huichon 희천시熙川市168,18021 dong, 12 ri
Kanggye (capital)강계시江界市251,97134 dong, 2 ri
Manpo 만포시滿浦市116,76011 dong, 15 ri
Changgang County 장강군長江郡54,6011 up, 3 rodongjagu, 10 ri
Chasong County 자성군慈城郡50,9391 up, 1 rodongjagu, 15 ri
Chonchon County 전천군前川郡106,3111 up, 5 rodongjagu, 11 ri
Chosan County 초산군楚山郡43,6141 up, 18 ri
Chunggang County 중강군中江郡41,0221 up, 1 rodongjagu, 8 ri
Hwapyong County 화평군和坪郡42,1831 up, 3 rodongjagu, 10 ri
Kopung County 고풍군古豐郡31,5721 up, 12 ri
Rangrim County 랑림군狼林郡36,4811 up, 2 rodongjagu, 14 ri
Ryongrim County 룡림군龍林郡32,7271 up, 12 ri
Sijung County 시중군時中郡41,8421 up, 14 ri
Songgan County 성간군城干郡92,9521 up, 5 rodongjagu, 9 ri
Songwon County 송원군松原郡38,0511 up, 12 ri
Tongsin County 동신군東新郡47,4601 up, 14 ri
Usi County 우시군雩時郡42,9191 up, 1 rodongjagu, 22 ri
Wiwon County 위원군渭原郡60,2451 up, 2 rodongjagu, 20 ri

See also

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Unsong or variation, may refer to:


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  3. "North Korea designates Chagang Province as special zone, possibly to conceal nuclear weapons". Daily NK. 2018-05-23. Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  4. "Defense". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  5. "North Korea Expanding WMD Production Capabilities". Nuclear Threat Initiative. October 27, 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
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  8. "DPR Korea 2008 Population Census: National Report" (PDF). Central Bureau of Statistics. 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2020.

Coordinates: 40°58′14″N126°35′33″E / 40.9706°N 126.5925°E / 40.9706; 126.5925