Wonsan

Last updated
Wŏnsan

원산시
Korean transcription(s)
   Chosŏn'gŭl
   Hancha
   McCune-Reischauer Wŏnsan-si
   Revised Romanization Wonsan-si
Wonsan montage.png
View of Wonsan
NK-Gangwon-Wonsan.png
Map of Kangwon showing the location of Wonsan
Wonsan
North Korea adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Wŏnsan
Location within North Korea
Coordinates: 39°08′51″N127°26′46″E / 39.14750°N 127.44611°E / 39.14750; 127.44611 Coordinates: 39°08′51″N127°26′46″E / 39.14750°N 127.44611°E / 39.14750; 127.44611
CountryFlag of North Korea.svg  North Korea
Province Kangwŏn
Region Kwandong, Kwannam (before 1946)
Settledc. 1800
Divisions 45 dong, 14 ri
Area
  Total269 km2 (104 sq mi)
Population
 (2008)
  Total363,127
Time zone UTC+9 (Pyongyang Time)

Wŏnsan (Korean pronunciation:  [wʌn.san] ), previously known as Wŏnsanjin (元山津), Port Lazarev, and Genzan (元山), is a port city and naval base located in Kangwŏn Province, North Korea, along the eastern side of the Korean Peninsula, on Sea of Japan and the provincial capital. The port was opened by occupying Japanese forces in 1880. Before the 19501953 Korean War, it fell within the jurisdiction of the then South Hamgyŏng province, and during the war it was the location of the Blockade of Wŏnsan. The population of the city was estimated at 329,207 in 2013. Notable people from Wŏnsan include Kim Ki-nam, a diplomat and former Vice Chairman of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea.

Contents

In 2013, it was announced that Wŏnsan would be converted into a summer destination with resorts and entertainment. [1] Having spent his childhood years there, Kim Jong-un has expressed significant interest in further developing the region, with the construction of new infrastructure such as Kalma Airport, a dual-use civilian international airport and military proving ground. A state corporation, the Wonsan Zone Development Corporation, has been established with feasibility studies for a wide variety of hotels and commercial and industrial development. [2]

Name

Wonsan has also been known as Yonghunghang, Yuan shan in China, Genzan or Gensan in Japan, and Port Lazareva or Port Lazareff in Russia.

Geography

Wonsan, on the East Coast of North Korea, opposite Pyongyang Korea north map.png
Wonsan, on the East Coast of North Korea, opposite Pyongyang

Wŏnsan's area is 269 square kilometres (104 sq mi). It is located in Kangwŏn Province, on the westernmost part of the Sea of Japan (East Sea of Korea) and the east end of the Korean peninsula's neck. Mt. Changdok (Changdok-san) and Mt. Nap'al (Nap'al-san) are located to the west of the city. More than 20 small islands flank Wŏnsan's immediate coastal area, including Hwangt'o Island and Ryŏ Island. Wŏnsan is considered an excellent natural port location. Kŭmgang-san mountain is located near Wŏnsan.

Administrative divisions

Wŏnsan serves as the administrative centre of Kangwŏn Province.

The City of Wŏnsan (Wŏnsan-si) is divided into 45 tong (neighbourhoods) and 14 ri (villages):

Climate

The city has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dwa). [3]

Climate data for Wonsan, North Korea (1981–2010)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)1.7
(35.1)
3.8
(38.8)
8.6
(47.5)
16.1
(61.0)
20.9
(69.6)
23.4
(74.1)
26.0
(78.8)
26.7
(80.1)
22.9
(73.2)
18.4
(65.1)
10.9
(51.6)
4.9
(40.8)
15.4
(59.7)
Daily mean °C (°F)−2.3
(27.9)
−0.1
(31.8)
4.4
(39.9)
11.2
(52.2)
16.0
(60.8)
19.5
(67.1)
22.8
(73.0)
23.6
(74.5)
19.1
(66.4)
13.8
(56.8)
6.8
(44.2)
0.8
(33.4)
11.3
(52.3)
Average low °C (°F)−6.2
(20.8)
−4.1
(24.6)
0.5
(32.9)
6.5
(43.7)
11.6
(52.9)
16.1
(61.0)
20.1
(68.2)
20.6
(69.1)
15.5
(59.9)
9.3
(48.7)
2.6
(36.7)
−2.9
(26.8)
7.5
(45.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches)28.8
(1.13)
28.8
(1.13)
37.6
(1.48)
51.7
(2.04)
105.3
(4.15)
132.3
(5.21)
285.5
(11.24)
291.5
(11.48)
207.9
(8.19)
82.2
(3.24)
66.0
(2.60)
30.2
(1.19)
1,347.8
(53.06)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)4.74.86.06.59.011.315.713.29.16.66.33.897.0
Average snowy days5.65.55.00.50.00.00.00.00.00.01.03.521.1
Average relative humidity (%)52.255.559.258.467.378.583.483.477.965.457.854.066.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 204.6206.2232.5234.0235.6207.0173.6176.7198.0223.2192.0192.22,475.6
Source 1: Korea Meteorological Administration [4]
Source 2: Wetter Spiegel Online (sunshine only) [5]

History

Map of Port Lazaref Port Lazaref.jpg
Map of Port Lazaref

Wŏnsan opened as a trade port in 1880. Its original name was Wŏnsanjin (元山津), but it was also known by the Russian name of Port Lazarev (Lazaref). Under Japanese rule (1910–45) it was called Gensan (元山). In 1914 the P'yŏngwŏn and Kyŏngwŏn railway lines were opened, connecting the city to P'yŏngyang (then known as Heijo) and Seoul (then Keijo or Kyŏngsŏng). Thus, the city gradually developed into an eastern product distribution centre. Under the Japanese occupation, the city was heavily industrialized and served as an import point in the distribution of trade between Korea and mainland Japan.

Statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in Wonsan Wonsan. Doppelmonument Kim Il-sung - Kim Jong-il.jpg
Statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in Wonsan

After the Korean War broke out it was captured by American and South Korean troops on 10 October 1950 during their drive north. When they left ahead of the Chinese counter-attack, the city fell under Chinese control on 9 December 1950. It was heavily bombed and shelled by the United Nations in the Blockade of Wonsan during the Korean War. [6] According to the official US Navy history Wŏnsan was under continuous siege and bombardment by the American navy from March 1951 until July 27, 1953, making it the longest siege in modern American naval history. By the war's end the city was a vast shell. [7]

City centre redevelopment

Kim Jong-un announced in 2015 plans for a $582 million redevelopment of the city centre, which is to be entirely demolished and rebuilt. A 5-star hotel, a 17-story Wonsan International Finance Centre and a $9.6m exhibition hall are expected to be built. [8]

Kim Jong Un maintains a private compound in Wonsan that includes a palace with several guest houses, a harbor with a boathouse, a beach and a racehorse track. [9]

Provincial borders

Wŏnsan used to be in South Hamgyŏng, but when provincial borders were redrawn in 1946, it joined the northern half of Kangwŏn (which had been split at the 38th parallel north into a zone under Soviet control in the north and one of American control in the south in 1945) and became its capital, as Kangwŏn's traditional capitals Wŏnju (1395–1895) and Ch'unch'ŏn (since 1896) both were south of the 38th parallel and south of the Military Demarcation Line that replaced the 38th parallel as a border in 1953.

Economy

Wŏnsan has an aquatic product processing factory, shipyard, chemistry enterprise, a cement factory, as well as the 4 June Rolling Stock Works, which is one of the DPRK's largest railway rolling stock factories. [10]

Transportation

Road and rail

The district of Wŏnsan-si is served by several stations on the Kangwŏn Line of the Korean State Railway, including a branch to the port; it is also connected to the national road network, and is the terminus of the P'yŏngyang-Wŏnsan Tourist Motorway and the Wŏnsan-Kŭmgangsan Highway.

Air

The city has the dual purpose military and civilian Wŏnsan Airport (IATA: WON) equipped with 01/19 and 15/33 dual runways. Images from Google Earth from July and August 2014 indicated that major expansion was taking place, including the construction of two new runways. [11] There is also an underground air force runway which runs through a mountain, near Wonsan. [12] [13] [14] North Korea's first public air show, the Wonsan International Friendship Air Festival, was held at Wonsan Airport in September 2016. [15]

Sea

Wŏnsan was also the terminus of the Mangyongbong-92 ferry that operated between Wŏnsan and Niigata, which was the only direct connection between Japan and North Korea. This service was cancelled in 2006 when Japan banned North Korean ships. [16]

Urban Transit

A trolleybus system with at least one line is currently in operation in Wonsan. [17] Currently, there are three new trolleybus lines under construction in the city, which is aimed at reducing the number of fossil fuel powered vehicles and to prevent air pollution. [18] The new lines run from Wonsan station to Kalma, to Myongsasimiri-dong and to Songdowon. [19] NK News however, incorrectly reported by implying that it was only being revived recently, [20] while in actual fact, new Chollima-321 trolleybuses had been delivered since 2019. [17]

A tram line is also under construction, with the trams to be built by the Kim Chong-t'ae Electric Locomotive Works. [21] The trams will be narrow gauge vehicles. [22] This was after Kim Jong-un stressed the need for a tram line at the resort area. [23] The line was completed on November 24, 2020, though passenger service has not started due to the incomplete state of the rest of the resort. [17]

Media

The Korean Central Broadcasting Station maintains a 250-kilowatt mediumwave transmitter broadcasting on 882 kHz AM.

Education

Wŏnsan is home to Songdowŏn University, Kŭmgang University, Tonghae University, Jong Jun Thaek University of Economics, Wŏnsan University of Medicine, Jo Gun Sil University of Engineering, Wŏnsan First University of Education, Ri Su Dok University, and the Maritime Patrol Academy, the commissioned officer's training school of the Korean People's Navy.

Sports

The city is home to Unp'asan Sports Club, an association football club that plays in the DPR Korea First Class Sports Group, North Korea's premier league.

Tourism

Wonsan has long been a popular tourism destination for both Koreans and international visitors.[ citation needed ] Attractions include Songdowon beach, the site of the Songdowon International Children's Union Camp, which maintains exceptionally clear and clean water. Pine trees are abundant in the surrounding area, and it has been designated a national sightseeing point. The nearby Kalma Peninsula is to feature a new hotel and a bathing area. [24]

Wonsan Special Tourist Zone

Announced in 2014, the Wonsan Special Tourist Zone is to cover more than 400 square km and boasts 40 historical relics, 10 sand beaches, 680 tourist attractions, four mineral springs and several bathing resorts and natural lakes. As part of this development the Masikryong Ski Resort was built in 2016. A $123m golf course is planned outside the city. [25]

Famous scenic sites near Wŏnsan include Myŏngsasimri, Lake Sijung, Chongsokchon and Mt. Kŭmgang. Temples in the area include the Sogwangsa and Anbyon Pohyonsa Buddhist temples. The German Church is the former church of the Tŏkwŏn abbey, now used by the Wŏnsan University of Agriculture.

Sister cities

See also

Related Research Articles

Kangwon Province (North Korea) Province of North Korea

Kangwon Province 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 formed a single province that excluded Wŏnsan.

Chongjin Municipal City in North Hamgyong, North Korea

Chŏngjin is the capital of North Korea's North Hamgyong Province (함경북도) and the country's third largest city. It is sometimes called the City of Iron.

Sinuiju Municipal City in North Pyŏngan, North Korea

Sinŭiju ; Sinŭiju-si, known before 1925 in English as Yeng Byen City) is a city in North Korea which faces Dandong, China across the international border of the Yalu River. It is the capital of North P'yŏngan province. Part of the city is included in the Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region, which was established in 2002 to experiment with introducing a market economy. In recent years, the city, despite lagging behind the development in the capital Pyongyang, has seen a small construction boom and increasing tourism from China.

Mount Kumgang Mountain range in North Korea

Mount Kumgang or the Kumgang Mountains are a mountain/mountain range, with a 1,638-metre-high (5,374 ft) Birobong peak, in Kangwon-do, North Korea. It is about 50 kilometres (31 mi) from the South Korean city of Sokcho in Gangwon-do. It is one of the best-known mountains in North Korea. It is located on the east coast of the country, in Mount Kumgang Tourist Region, formerly part of Kangwŏn Province. Mount Kumgang is part of the Taebaek mountain range which runs along the east of the Korean Peninsula.

Mount Kumgang Tourist Region special administrative region of North Korea in Yeongdong

The Mount Kumgang Tourist Region is a special administrative region of North Korea. It was established in 2002 to handle South Korean tourist traffic to Mount Kumgang. It was one of the symbols of the South Korean Sunshine Policy.

Samjiyon Municipal City in Ryanggang, North Korea

Samjiyŏn is a city in Ryanggang Province, North Korea. It takes its name from three lakes in the city, which are collectively known as the Samjiyŏn. Samjiyŏn is situated near Mount Paektu, and tour groups fly to the city's airport to see the mountain, which holds significance in North Korean mythology.

<i>Man Gyong Bong 92</i>

The Man Gyong Bong 92 is a cargo-passenger ferry, named after a hill near Pyongyang. The ferry was built in 1992 with funds from Chongryon, the pro-North Korean General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, and was used to transport passengers and cargo between North Korea and Japan. These voyages continued until 2006 when Japan banned North Korean ships from its waters. In 2011 the ship trialed a route between Rason and Mount Kumgang. In 2018, the ship carried a 140 person delegation, as well as an art troupe, for the 2018 Winter Olympics and docked in Mukho port.

Munchon Municipal City in Kangwon Province, North Korea

Munch'ŏn is a North Korean city located in Kangwŏn Province. It lies on the coast of the Sea of Japan and borders Wonsan.

Kosong County County in Kangwŏn Province, North Korea

Kosŏng County is a kun, or county, in Kangwŏn province, North Korea. It lies in the southeasternmost corner of North Korea, immediately north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Prior to the end of the Korean War in 1953, it made up a single county, together with what is now the South Korean county of the same name. In a subsequent reorganization, the county absorbed the southern portion of Tongch'ŏn county.

Trams and trolleybuses in North Korea

Trams and Trolleybuses in North Korea are forms of public transportation for North Koreans to travel around in urban centres given the shortages on fuel and access to cars for average citizens.

Wŏnsan station (Korean: 원산역) is railway station located in Yangji-dong, Wŏnsan city, Kangwŏn province, North Korea. It is on the Kangwŏn Line of the Korean State Railway. Locomotive and freight car maintenance facilities are located here.

Kalma Airport Airport in Wonsan, North Korea

Kalma Airport is a dual-use civil and military airport in Wonsan, Kangwon-do, North Korea. A new international terminal and passenger ramp opened in September 2015.

Yangdok County County in South Pyŏngan, North Korea

Yangdŏk County is a kun (county) in South P'yŏngan province, North Korea.

Trolleybuses in Pyongyang

The Pyongyang trolleybus system forms part of the public transport network of Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea, and extends to some of its suburbs.

Kangwon Line

The Kangwŏn Line is a 145.8 km (90.6 mi) electrified standard-gauge trunk line of the Korean State Railway of North Korea, connecting Kowŏn on the P'yŏngra Line to P'yŏnggang, providing an east–west connection between the P'yŏngra and Ch'ŏngnyŏn Ich'ŏn lines.

Masikryong Ski Resort

Masikryong Ski Resort is a ski resort at the summit of the 1,360-metre (4,460 ft) Taehwa Peak some 20 kilometres (12 mi) outside Wonsan City in Kangwon Province, North Korea.

The Hotel Haegumgang is a floating hotel that began operations in Queensland, Australia, was moved to Vietnam, and is currently docked at Mount Kumgang on the east coast of North Korea. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, it "has developed something of a cult following in Australia".

Kalma station (Korean: 갈마역) is a railway station in Kalma-dong, an industrial neighbourhood in the eastern part of Wŏnsan city, Kangwŏn province, North Korea, on the Kangwŏn Line of the Korean State Railway. It is also the start of the Wŏnsanhang Line to Wŏnsan Port.

Segil station is a railway station in Segil-dong, Wŏnsan Municipal City, Kangwŏn province, North Korea, on Songdowŏn Line of the Korean State Railway. The Songdowŏn Line runs to Wŏnsan, where it connects to the Kangwŏn Line.

The Songdowŏn Line is an electrified secondary railway line of the Korean State Railway in Wŏnsan Municipal City, North Korea, running from Tŏgwŏn on the Kangwŏn Line to Songdowŏn and Segil.

References

  1. Ryall, Julian (27 June 2013). "North Korean leader Kim Jong-un orders the creation of nation's first beach resort". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  2. Park, Ju-Min; Pearson, James (10 October 2017). "Special Report: In Kim Jong Un's summer palace, fun meets guns". Reuters . Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  3. "Wonsan climate: Average Temperature, weather by month, Wonsan weather averages". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  4. "30 years report of Meteorological Observations in North Korea" (in Korean). Korea Meteorological Administration. pp. 232–281. Archived from the original on 21 December 2020. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
  5. "Klimadaten". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
  6. "Wonsan Key Seaport Before War Started; Badly Crippled by U.N. Air and Sea Attacks". New York Times . June 30, 1951. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
  7. Halliday, Jon; Cumings, Bruce (1988). Korea, the Unknown War. New York: Pantheon Books. p. 157.
  8. "Wonsan: Where tourism meets tanks". Reuters.
  9. "Satellitenfotos deuten auf Abstecher in Luxusanwesen am Meer hin". Der Spiegel (in German). April 29, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  10. Kokubu, Hayato (2007). 将軍様の鉄道 (Shōgun-sama no Tetsudō). Tokyo. p. 130. ISBN   978-4-10-303731-6.
  11. "Wonsan airport undergoing major renovation, expansion". NK News. 19 January 2015.
  12. Mizokami, Kyle. "North Korea's Secret Strategy in a War with America: Go Underground". The National Interest.
  13. "North Korea's Thunderbird Runways". googlesightseeing.com. 19 May 2008.
  14. "North Korea's Underground Bond-Villain Air Base Nears Completion". freekorea.us.
  15. "North Korea shows off fighter jets at its first international air show". International Business Times. September 26, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  16. "Ferry ban turns tide on Korean smuggling". The Washington Times. 2006-10-16. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
  17. 1 2 3 "Wonsan". transphoto.org. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  18. "Public transport goes environment friendly in Wonsan". The Pyongyang Times. Archived from the original on 2020-11-02. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  19. 록화보도 원산시에 무궤도전차사업소가 새로 건설되였다. 조선의 오늘 (in Korean). 2020-12-27. Retrieved 2020-12-30.
  20. "North Korea touts new electric trolleybuses ahead of massive beach resort debut". NK News. 2020-12-29. Retrieved 2020-12-30.
  21. "Tramway under construction at North Korean beach resort". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  22. "Tramcar service to be launched in tourist resort". The Pyongyang Times. Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  23. "Examining Kim's Approach to Construction: Project Wonsan". 38 North. 2020-10-16. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  24. "AUGUST MASS GAMES TOUR". YOUNG PIONEER TOURS. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014.
  25. Park, Ju-min; Pearson, James. "In Kim Jong Un's summer retreat, fun meets guns". Reuters.
  26. Vyas, Utpal (2010). Soft Power in Japan-China Relations: State, Sub-state and Non-state Relations. Oxon: Routledge. p. 107. ISBN   978-1-136-85896-3.
  27. "Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores - Gobierno - gob.mx" (PDF). www.sre.gob.mx.
  28. "Kim Jong Il Holds Third Summit Talks with Putin during Tour of Far Eastern Region of Russia". The People's Korea. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016.

Further reading