|• Chosŏn'gŭl||원 산 시|
|• Hancha||元 山 市|
|• Revised Romanization||Wonsan-si|
View of Wonsan
Map of Kangwon showing the location of Wonsan
|Region||Kwandong, Kwannam (before 1946)|
|Divisions||45 dong, 14 ri|
|• Total||269 km2 (104 sq mi)|
|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 1950–1953 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.
In 2013, it was announced that Wŏnsan would be converted into a summer destination with resorts and entertainment.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.
Wonsan has also been known as Yonghunghang, Yuan shan in China, Genzan or Gensan in Japan, and Port Lazareva or Port Lazareff in Russia.
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.
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):
The city has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dwa).
|Climate data for Wonsan, North Korea (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||1.7|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−2.3|
|Average low °C (°F)||−6.2|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||28.8|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||4.7||4.8||6.0||6.5||9.0||11.3||15.7||13.2||9.1||6.6||6.3||3.8||97.0|
|Average snowy days||5.6||5.5||5.0||0.5||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||1.0||3.5||21.1|
|Average relative humidity (%)||52.2||55.5||59.2||58.4||67.3||78.5||83.4||83.4||77.9||65.4||57.8||54.0||66.1|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||204.6||206.2||232.5||234.0||235.6||207.0||173.6||176.7||198.0||223.2||192.0||192.2||2,475.6|
|Source 1: Korea Meteorological Administration|
|Source 2: Wetter Spiegel Online (sunshine only)|
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.
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.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.There is also an underground air force runway which runs through a mountain, near Wonsan. North Korea's first public air show, the Wonsan International Friendship Air Festival, was held at Wonsan Airport in September 2016.
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.
A trolleybus system with at least one line is currently in operation in Wonsan.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. The new lines run from Wonsan station to Kalma, to Myongsasimiri-dong and to Songdowon. NK News however, incorrectly reported by implying that it was only being revived recently, while in actual fact, new Chollima-321 trolleybuses had been delivered since 2019.
A tram line is also under construction, with the trams to be built by the Kim Chong-t'ae Electric Locomotive Works.The trams will be narrow gauge vehicles. This was after Kim Jong-un stressed the need for a tram line at the resort area. 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.
The Korean Central Broadcasting Station maintains a 250-kilowatt mediumwave transmitter broadcasting on 882 kHz AM.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Munch'ŏn is a North Korean city located in Kangwŏn Province. It lies on the coast of the Sea of Japan and borders Wonsan.
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 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 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.
Yangdŏk County is a kun (county) in South P'yŏngan province, North Korea.
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.
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 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wonsan .|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Wonsan .|
Largest cities or towns in North Korea
|Rank||Name||Administrative division||Pop.||Rank||Name||Administrative division||Pop.|
|1||Pyongyang||Pyongyang Capital City||3,255,288||11||Sunchon||South Pyongan||297,317|| |
|2||Hamhung||South Hamgyong||768,551||12||Pyongsong||South Pyongan||284,386|
|3||Chongjin||North Hamgyong||667,929||13||Haeju||South Hwanghae||273,300|
|4||Nampo||South Pyongan Province||366,815||14||Kanggye||Chagang||251,971|
|6||Sinuiju||North Pyongan||359,341||16||Tokchon||South Pyongan||237,133|
|7||Tanchon||South Hamgyong||345,875||17||Kimchaek||North Hamgyong||207,299|
|8||Kaechon||South Pyongan||319,554||18||Rason||Rason Special Economic Zone||196,954|
|9||Kaesong||North Hwanghae||308,440||19||Kusong||North Pyongan||196,515|