Kangwon Province (North Korea)

Last updated
Kangwon Province
Korean transcription(s)
  Revised RomanizationGangwon-do
Kangwon-do in North Korea 2010.svg
Country North Korea
Region Gwandong
(Yeongseo: western Kangwŏn; Yeongdong: eastern Kangwŏn)
Capital Wŏnsan
Subdivisions2 cities; 15 counties
  Party Committee Chairman Pak Jong-nam [1] (WPK)
  People's Committee Chairman Han Sang-jun [1]
  Total11,255 km2 (4,346 sq mi)
  Density130/km2 (340/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+9 (Pyongyang Time)

Kangwon Province (Kangwŏndo; Korean pronunciation:  [kaŋ.wʌn.do] ) is a province of North Korea, with its capital at Wŏnsan. Before the division of Korea in 1945, Kangwŏn Province and its South Korean neighbour Gangwon Province (also spelled Kangwon Province sometimes) formed a single province that excluded Wŏnsan.



Kangwŏn was one of the Eight Provinces of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. The province was formed 1395, and derived its name from the names of the principal cities of Gangneung (or Kangnŭng; 강릉; 江陵) and the provincial capital Wonju (or Wŏnju; 원주; 原州).

In 1895, Kangwŏn was replaced by the Districts of Chuncheon (Chuncheon-bu;춘천부; 春川府) in the west and Gangneung (Gangneung-bu;강릉부; 江陵府) in the east. Wonju became part of Chungju District.

In 1896, Korea was redivided into thirteen provinces, and the two districts were merged to re-form Kangwŏn Province. Although Wonju rejoined Kangwŏn province, the provincial capital was moved to Chuncheon.

In 1945, Kangwŏn Province (along with the rest of Korea) was divided by the 38th parallel north in 1945 into Soviet and American zones of occupation in the north and south respectively. In 1946, the northern province was expanded to include the North Korean portion of Gyeonggi Province and the area around Wŏnsan in South Hamgyŏng Province. The provincial capital of the North Korean portion of the province was established at Wŏnsan, as Kangwŏn's traditional capitals Wonju and Chuncheon both were south of the 38th parallel. In 1948, the province became part of the new Democratic People's Republic of Korea. As a result of the Korean War Armistice Agreement of 1953, the boundary between the North and South Korean portions of the province was shifted northward to the Military Demarcation Line.

In 2002, Mount Kumgang Tourist Region was split off from the rest of the province to form a separately-administered region.


The province is bordered by South Hamgyŏng to the north, South P'yŏngan and North Hwanghae to the west, and Kaesŏng to the south. Additionally, the province is across the Korean Demilitarized Zone from its South Korean counterpart Gangwon and Gyeonggi. To the east is the Sea of Japan.

The province is dominated by the T'aebaek Mountains, the highest peak of which is Mount Kumgang ("Diamond Mountain").

Kangwŏn and Gangwon Provinces are together referred to as the Gwandong region. The region west of the Taebaek Mountains is called Yŏngsŏ, while the region east of the mountains is called Yŏngdong.

In April 2003, the Mt. Chuae Plant Reserve was created. [2] The reserve is 687 hectares and is in Shindong-ri, Sepho County, and Sanyang-ri, Kosan County. [2] Mt. Chuae is 1,528 meters above sea level and is part of the Masingnyong Mountains. [2] The DPRK Nature Conservation Union is trying to preserve mixed forests of pine and broad-leaf trees. [2] The DPRK Cabinet-level decision has banned animal grazing and collecting plant resources and other acts of damaging the environment. [2]

Administrative divisions

Kangwŏn Province is divided into 2 cities (si), 1 special administrative region, and 15 counties (kun).

Labeled map of divisions of North korean kangwon province (in korean) NK-Gangwon.png
Labeled map of divisions of North korean kangwon province (in korean)


Wonsan Wonsan waterfront (2937890043).jpg


Related Research Articles

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  1. 1 2 "Organizational Chart of North Korean Leadership" (PDF). Seoul: Political and Military Analysis Division, Intelligence and Analysis Bureau; Ministry of Unification. January 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Ju, Song I (May 5, 2012). "Plant reserve on Mt. Chuae". Pyongyang Times. George Washington University. p. 8.

Coordinates: 39°08′51″N127°26′46″E / 39.14750°N 127.44611°E / 39.14750; 127.44611

  1. Abolished