Chagang Province

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Chagang Province
Korean transcription(s)
 • Chosŏn'gŭl자강도
 • Hancha慈江
 • McCune-ReischauerChagang-do
 • Revised RomanizationJagang-do
Location of Chagang Province
Country North Korea
Subdivisions3 cities; 15 counties
 • Party Committee ChairmanKang Bong-hun (WPK)
 • People's Committee ChairmanRi Hyong-gun[1]
 • Total16,613 km2 (6,414 sq mi)
 • Total1,299,830
 • Density78/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Pyongyang Time)

Chagang Province (Chagangdo; Korean pronunciation: [tɕa.ɡaŋ.do]) is a province in North Korea; it is bordered by China's Jilin and Liaoning provinces to the north, Ryanggang and South Hamgyong to the east, South Pyongan to the south, and North Pyongan to the west. Chagang was formed in 1949, after being demarcated from North Pyongan. The provincial capital is Kanggye. Before 2019, Chagang was the only province of North Korea completely inaccessible to tourists, possibly due to weapons factories and nuclear weapon facilities located there. In 2019 the city of Manpo became accessible to tourists.[2] In May 2018, the province became a "Special Songun (military first) Revolutionary Zone" in relations to concealing the nuclear weapon and weapon's factories within the province.[3]



Chagang Province is located in the northwestern part of Korea. It is a mountainous province; with the mountainous area amounting to 98 per cent of its total area. The mean height above sea level is 750 meters and the slope of most regions is 15 to 40 degrees.

The province has a distinct continental climate under the influence of the Asian continent. It has very cold and long winters, and brief springs and falls. The climate is characterized by great differences in daily and yearly temperature. In summer, downpours of rain and hail are frequent. Thus thunder and lightning occur frequently.

The province has great mineral wealth, and is North Korea's main source of lead, zinc, gold, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, antimony, graphite, apatite, alunite, limestone, calcium carbonate, anthracite and iron ores. There are also crystals and valuable gems there.

Main cities and economic activities


The province abounds in underground, forest and water resources. Before the Korean War, Chagang province was an isolated land with only two primitive mines, one timber mill and a distillery.

Nowadays, it has power, machine, chemical, light, mining and timber industries. Its total industrial output is 1000 times as much as just before the war.[citation needed]

The majority of North Korea's underground military industrial facilities are located in Chagang Province,[4] including portions of their weapons of mass destruction program.[5]

Kanggye is the capital city of Chagang Province. One of the main economic timber processing factories of the province, and the country, is located in Kanggye.

Huichon is the most developed city in the province, though. Its development dates back to the Korean War, when it became one of the cities of industrial relocation, as it was isolated and far from the main battlefields.

Nowadays, Huichon has several industries, such as a huge machine tool factory, silk mill and a hard glassware factory. In Huichon there is the main North Korean University of Telecommunications.

Chagang was one of the less developed and isolated provinces in North Korea after liberation in 1945. The terrain made farming difficult and only slash-and-burn farmers tilled mountain plots to eke out a living.

Nowadays, farming activities are mainly linked with livestock activities. One example is Hungju Farm.

Tourism in Chagang Province


The Chagang Province for a while was the only province in North Korea that tourists could not go to. The main reason believed to be why they were not allowed to was due to the province being home to weapons and nuclear weapon factories and sites. Prior to April 2019, the only part that was accessible for tourist in the Chagang Province was the Huichon Hotel.[6]

However, in April 2019, the province was opened to tourist in which they could go to the city of Manpo. The city is located right across the river from China.[7]

Small and medium-size power stations


The province has been converted into a power base for the country, with the construction of Kanggye Youth Power Station, Unbong Power Station, Jangjagang Power Station and other large hydroelectric power stations.

The province has built since the 90s many small and medium-sized power stations, as a duty of the local authorities. Log-dam, water-course, raft and sluice were among the efficient methods practised in their construction.

Small hydraulic turbines, with a capacity of 2 kW to 70 kW, were developed by local technicians to dramatically increase the generating capacity.

Administrative divisions


Chagang is divided into 3 cities (si) and 15 counties (gun).

Name Chosongul Hanja Population
Huichon 희천시 熙川市 168,180 21 dong, 12 ri
Kanggye (capital) 강계시 江界市 251,971 34 dong, 2 ri
Manpo 만포시 滿浦市 116,760 11 dong, 15 ri
Changgang County 장강군 長江郡 54,601 1 up, 3 rodongjagu, 10 ri
Chasong County 자성군 慈城郡 50,939 1 up, 1 rodongjagu, 15 ri
Chonchon County 전천군 前川郡 106,311 1 up, 5 rodongjagu, 11 ri
Chosan County 초산군 楚山郡 43,614 1 up, 18 ri
Chunggang County 중강군 中江郡 41,022 1 up, 1 rodongjagu, 8 ri
Hwapyong County 화평군 和坪郡 42,183 1 up, 3 rodongjagu, 10 ri
Kopung County 고풍군 古豐郡 31,572 1 up, 12 ri
Rangrim County 랑림군 狼林郡 36,481 1 up, 2 rodongjagu, 14 ri
Ryongrim County 룡림군 龍林郡 32,727 1 up, 12 ri
Sijung County 시중군 時中郡 41,842 1 up, 14 ri
Songgan County 성간군 城干郡 92,952 1 up, 5 rodongjagu, 9 ri
Songwon County 송원군 松原郡 38,051 1 up, 12 ri
Tongsin County 동신군 東新郡 47,460 1 up, 14 ri
Usi County 우시군 雩時郡 42,919 1 up, 1 rodongjagu, 22 ri
Wiwon County 위원군 渭原郡 60,245 1 up, 2 rodongjagu, 20 ri

See also



  1. ^ "NK Leadership Tracker".
  2. ^ "Manpo City to Open Foreign Tourists". Young Pioneer Tours. 2019-04-25. Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  3. ^ "North Korea designates Chagang Province as special zone, possibly to conceal nuclear weapons". Daily NK. 2018-05-23. Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  4. ^ "Defense". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  5. ^ "North Korea Expanding WMD Production Capabilities". Nuclear Threat Initiative. October 27, 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  6. ^ "Huichon Hotel | North Korea Travel Guide - Koryo Tours". Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  7. ^ "Manpo City to Open Foreign Tourists". Young Pioneer Tours. 2019-04-25. Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  8. ^ "DPR Korea 2008 Population Census: National Report" (PDF). Central Bureau of Statistics. 2009. Archived from the original on 26 March 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

40°58′14″N 126°35′33″E / 40.9706°N 126.5925°E / 40.9706; 126.5925