Kangwon (Kangwon-do) is a province of North Korea, with its capital at Wŏnsan. Before the division of Korea in 1945, Kangwŏn and its South Korean neighbour Gangwon formed a single province.
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 Wŭnju; 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. In 1948, the province became part of the new nation of North Korea. As a result of the Korean War ceasefire of 1953, the boundary between the North and South Korean portions of the province was shifted northward to the Military Demarcation Line.
In 2002, Kŭmgangsan Tourist Region was split off from the rest of the province to form a separately-administered region.
The province is bordered by South Hamgyong|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. To the east is the East Sea (Sea of Japan).
The province is dominated by the Taebaek Mountains, the highest peak of which is Kŭmgangsan ("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.
Kangwŏn Province is divided into 2 cities (Si) and 15 counties (Kun).
- Munchŏn-si (문천시; 文川市)
- Wŏnsan-si (원산시; 元山市)
- Anpyŏn-gun (안변군; 安邊郡)
- Ch'angdo-gun (창도군; 昌道郡)
- Ch'ŏlwŏn-gun (철원군; 鐵原郡)
- Ch'ŏnnae-gun (천내군; 川內郡)
- Hoeyang-gun (회양군; 淮陽郡)
- Ichŏn-gun (이천군; 伊川郡)
- Kimhwa-gun (김화군; 金化郡)
- Kosan-gun (고산군; 高山郡)
- Kosŏng-gun (고성군; 高城郡)
- Kŭmkang-gun (금강군; 金剛郡)
- P'ankyo-gun (판교군; 板橋郡)
- Pŏptong-gun (법동군; 法洞郡)
- P'yeŏngkang-gun (평강군; 平康郡)
- Sep'o-gun (세포군; 洗浦郡)
- Tongch'ŏn-gun (통천군; 通川郡)
Last updated: 05-23-2005 00:49:02