Gangwon-do (South Korea)


Gangwon-do (South Korea)

Infobox Korean Provinces
Name = Gangwon
Name2 = 강원
Hangul = 강원 도
Hanja = 江原道
Revised Romanization = Gang(-)won-do
McCune-Reischauer = Kangwŏn-do


Government = Province
Capital = Chuncheon
Governor = Kim Jin-sun
Region = Gwandong
(Yeongseo: western Gangwon; Yeongdong: eastern Gangwon)
Dialect = Gangwon
TotalArea = 16,894
AreaRank = 2nd
PopDate = 1990
Population = 1,592,000
PopRank = 7th
Density = 94
Cities = 10
Counties = 13
Website = [http://eng.gwd.go.kr/page/main.html gwd.go.kr] en icon
Flower = Royal Azalea
Tree = Korean Pine
Bird = Red-crowned Crane
OtherSymbol1 =
OtherSymbol1Value =
OtherSymbol2 =
OtherSymbol2Value =
Emblem = Gangwon Emblem.gif
EmblemName =

Gangwon-do is a province of South Korea, with its capital at Chuncheon. Before the division of Korea in 1945, Gangwon and its North Korean neighbour Kangwŏn formed a single province.

History

Gangwon-do was one of the Eight Provinces of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. The province was formed in 1395, and derived its name from the names of the principal cities of Gangreung (강릉; 江陵) and the provincial capital Wonju (원주; 原州).

In 1895, Gangwon-do was replaced by the Districts of Chuncheon ("Chuncheon-bu;" 춘천부; 春川府) in the west and Gangreung ("Gangreung-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 Gangwon-do Province. Although Wonju rejoined Gangwon-do province, the provincial capital was moved to Chuncheon, where it remains today.

In 1945, Gangwon-do (along with the rest of Korea) was divided by the 38th parallel north in 1945 into U.S. American and Soviet zones of occupation in the south and north respectively, which led to Wonsan joining the province's northern half in 1946 to serve as its administrative center. In 1948, the southern half of the province became part of the new Republic of South Korea. As a result of the Korean War ceasefire of 1953, the boundary between the South and North Korean portions of the province was shifted northward to the Military Demarcation Line. The province's boundaries have remained the same since 1953.

Geography

Location

Gangwon-do is bounded on the west by Gyeonggi-do province, on the south by the provinces of Chungcheongbuk-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do, and on the east by the Sea of Japan. To the north lies the province's North Korean counterpart, Kangwŏn province. The province's landscape is dominated by the Taebaek Mountains ("Taebaek Sanmaek") which almost reach the sea. As a consequence the coast is steep.

Resources

The area of Gangwon-do is 16,894 km², of which four fifths are woodland. Edible alpine plants and mushrooms are harvested in these forests. The province is renowned for its agricultural produce, in particular potatoes and fish (cuttlefish and pollock). Mineral resources of the province include iron, coal, fluorite, limestone and tungsten. There are hydroelectric and thermoelectric power plants.

Cities and parks

The main cities in the province are Chuncheon (the provincial capital), Gangneung, Sokcho, Wonju, and Donghae. Seoraksan (mountain; 1,708 m) and Mt. Odae (1,563 m) with its ski run, attract a large number of national tourists. Both are located in national parks in the Taebaek Mountains. South Korea's largest limestone cave, Hwanseongul, receives over one million visitors a year.

Regions

Gangwon-do and its North Korean counterpart Kangwŏn are together referred to as the Gwandong region. The region west of the Taebaek Mountains is called Yeongseo, while the region east of the mountains is called Yeongdong. The term "Yeongdong" is frequently used in reference to transportation services from Seoul, the national capital. Thus, one might catch a bus or train on the "Yeongdong Line," or drive to Gangneung on the Yeongdong Expressway.

Administrative divisions

Gangwon-do is divided into 7 cities ("si") and 11 counties ("gun"). The names below are given in English, hangul, and hanja.

Cities

Counties

Culture

Gangwon-do is known throughout Korea for its production of "sundubu", a variety of soft tofu made with seawater.

ee also

* List of Korea-related topics

External links

* [http://eng.gwd.go.kr/main.html Gangwon-do provincial government English-language home page]
* [http://seoul600.visitseoul.net/seoul-history/sidaesa/txt/5-3-2-1.html Seoul City history article on Hanseong and 22 other late 19th-century districts (in Korean)]


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