) is a province
of North Korea
, with its capital at Wŏnsan
. Before the division of Korea
, Kangwŏn and its South Korean
(also spelled Kangwon-do
) 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 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 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 Sea of Japan
(East Sea of Korea).
The province is dominated by the T'aebaek Mountains, the highest peak of which is Kŭmgang-san ("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