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Kangwŏn (Kangwŏn-do) is a province of North Koreamarker, with its capital at Wŏnsanmarker. Before the division of Korea in 1945, Kangwŏn and its South Koreanmarker neighbour Gangwon-domarker (also spelled Kangwon-do) formed a single province that excluded Wŏnsanmarker.


Kangwŏn was one of the Eight Provinces of Korea during the Joseon Dynastymarker. The province was formed 1395, and derived its name from the names of the principal cities of Gangneungmarker (or Kangnŭng; ; ) and the provincial capital Wonjumarker (or Wŏnju; ; ).

In 1895, Kangwŏn was replaced by the Districts of Chuncheon (Chuncheon-bu; ; ) in the west and Gangneung (Gangneung-bu; ; ) in the east. Wonju became part of Chungjumarker 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 Sovietmarker and Americanmarker zones of occupation in the north and south respectively. In 1946, the northern province was expanded to include the North Korean portion of Gyeonggimarker Province, and the area around Wŏnsanmarker in South Hamgyŏngmarker 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 Koreamarker. 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 Regionmarker 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 Kaesŏngmarker 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 Japanmarker (East Sea of Korea).

The province is dominated by the T'aebaek Mountainsmarker, the highest peak of which is Kŭmgang-sanmarker ("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.

Administrative divisions

Kangwŏn Province is divided into 2 cities (si) and 15 counties (kun).




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