Ryanggang Province

Last updated
Ryanggang Province
Korean transcription(s)
  Revised RomanizationYanggang-do
Ryanggang-do in North Korea.svg
Coordinates: 41°24′0.0″N128°10′59.9″E / 41.400000°N 128.183306°E / 41.400000; 128.183306 Coordinates: 41°24′0.0″N128°10′59.9″E / 41.400000°N 128.183306°E / 41.400000; 128.183306
Country North Korea
Region Kwannam
Capital Hyesan
Subdivisions2 cities; 10 counties
  Party Committee Chairman Ri Sang-won [1] (WPK)
  People's Committee Chairman Ri Song-guk [1]
  Total14,317 km2 (5,528 sq mi)
  Density50/km2 (130/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+9 (Pyongyang Time)
Dialect Hamgyŏng

Ryanggang Province (Ryanggangdo; Korean : 량강도, Ryanggang-do, Korean pronunciation:  [ɾjaŋ.ɡaŋ.do] ) is a province in North Korea. The province is bordered by China (Jilin) on the north, North Hamgyong on the east, South Hamgyong on the south, and Chagang on the west. Ryanggang was formed in 1954, when it was separated from South Hamgyŏng. The provincial capital is Hyesan. In South Korean usage, "Ryanggang" is spelled and pronounced as "Yanggang" (Korean : 양강도, Yanggang-do, Korean pronunciation:  [jaŋ.ɡaŋ.do] )



Along the northern border with China runs the Yalu River and the Tumen River. In between the rivers, and the source of both, is Paektu Mountain, revered by both the Koreans and Manchurians as the mythic origin of each people. The North Korean government claims that Kim Jong-il was born there when his parents were at a Communist anti-Japanese resistance camp at the mountain. The North Korean-Chinese border for 20 miles east of the mountain is "dry, remote and mountainous, barely patrolled," making it one of the crossing areas for refugees from North Korea into China, although most, including refugees from Ryanggang itself, prefer to cross over the Tumen River. [2]

Although all of North Korea is economically depressed after Soviet dissolution, Ryanggang province, along with neighboring North Hamgyong and South Hamgyong provinces, are the poorest, forming North Korea's "Rust Belt" of industrialized cities with factories now decrepit and failing. The worst hunger of the 1990s famine years occurred in these three provinces, and most refugees into China come from the Rust Belt region. [2]

Ryanggang explosion

An explosion and mushroom cloud was reportedly detected in Kimhyŏngjik-gun on 9 September 2004, the 56th anniversary of the creation of North Korea. This was reported a few days later on 12 September.

Power supply issues

In recent years, power supply problems have become prevalent in Ryanggang.[ citation needed ]

Administrative divisions

Ryanggang is divided into 2 cities (si) and 10 counties (kun). Each entity is listed below in English, Chosŏn'gŭl, and Hanja.

ImageName Chosongul Hanja Population
(2008) [3]
DPRK2006 Ryanggang-Hyesan.PNG
Hyesan (capital)혜산시惠山市192,68025 dong, 4 ri
DPRK2006 Ryanggang-Samjiyon.PNG
Samjiyon 삼지연시三池淵市31,47110 dong, 6 ri
DPRK2006 Ryanggang-Kapsan.PNG
Kapsan County 갑산군甲山郡70,6111 up, 4 rodongjagu, 20 ri
DPRK2006 Ryanggang-Kimhyonggwon.PNG
Kimhyonggwon County 김형권군金亨權郡37,5281 up, 1 rodongjagu, 17 ri
DPRK2006 Ryanggang-Kimhyongjik.PNG
Kimhyongjik County 김형직군金亨稷郡57,7291 up, 6 rodongjagu, 9 ri
DPRK2006 Ryanggang-Kimjongsuk.PNG
Kimjongsuk County 김정숙군金貞淑郡42,6181 up, 2 rodongjagu, 22 ri
DPRK2006 Ryanggang-Paegam.PNG
Paegam County 백암군白岩郡67,6831 up, 19 rodongjagu, 4 ri
DPRK2006 Ryanggang-Pochon.PNG
Pochon County 보천군普天郡37,2251 up, 2 rodongjagu, 17 ri
DPRK2006 Ryanggang-Pungso.PNG
Pungso County 풍서군豊西郡44,1121 up, 3 rodongjagu, 17 ri
DPRK2006 Ryanggang-Samsu.PNG
Samsu County 삼수군三水郡40,3111 up, 1 rodongjagu, 23 ri
DPRK2006 Ryanggang-Taehongdan.PNG
Taehongdan County 대홍단군大紅湍郡35,5961 up, 9 rodongjagu
DPRK2006 Ryanggang-Unhung.PNG
Unhung County 운흥군雲興郡61,7051 up, 10 rodongjagu, 10 ri

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Jaegaseung were descendants of Jurchen people who lived in North-Eastern Korea. They formed villages of married lay monks and produced oatmeal paper called Hwangji(黃紙) which was used to paid their taxes. In 1960s, they were forcibly assimilated into the Korean People by the orders of Kim Il-Sung.


  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 Onishi, Norimitsu (22 October 2006). "Tension, Desperation: The China-North Korean Border". New York Times . The information cited in this footnote comes from the captions to the large illustrated map published with the newspaper article and available online with it.
  3. "DPR Korea 2008 Population Census: National Report" (PDF). Central Bureau of Statistics. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2020.