Chagang Province

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Chagang Province
Korean transcription(s)
 • Hangul 자강도
 • Hanja 慈江道
 • McCune‑Reischauer Chagang-do
Location of Chagang Province
Country North Korea
Region Kwansŏ
Capital Kanggye
Subdivisions 3 cities; 15 counties
 • Total 16,613 km2 (6,414 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Total 1,299,830
 • Density 78/km2 (200/sq mi)
Dialect Pyongan

Chagang Province (Chagangdo; Korean pronunciation: [tsa.ɡaŋ.do]) is a province in North Korea; it is bordered by China 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.


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.


In 1948 Kim Il-sung took over as the official ruler of North Korea. The practice of the Juche faith came shortly after his rise to power. This religion worships Kim Il-sung as a Jesus like figure.[1] It also establishes the three guiding principals of Jaju, Jarib, and Jawui. These three principals were designed to eliminate all forms of reliance on the outside world.[2] The emphasis on self reliance combined with the availability of minerals has made Chagang into a center of military and industrial power in North Korea. [3] However, the lack of viable farm land contributed to regional famines in the mid 1990s.[4]

Today, the province is under the control of Kim Jong-un the grandson of Kim Il-sung. Conflicting sources say that Kim Jong-un was born in either 1982 or 1983. We know that he attended middle school in Switzerland for the sixth, seventh and eight grades. But, little else is known about his childhood. [5] On August 16, 2017, Kim Jong-un ordered several missiles from the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science in North Korea. Three days later he launched three failed missile tests. Six days after that, he launched a successful missile test. [6] The series of mishaps lead many to speculate about the future of the Kim dynasty. [7]

Main cities and economic activities[edit]

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,[8] including portions of their weapons of mass destruction program.[9]

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.

Small and medium-size power stations[edit]

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[edit]

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


  • Kanggye-si (강계시; 江界市; made into "si" from "gun" December 1949)
  • Huichon-si (희천시; 熙川市; made into "si" October 1967)
  • Manpo-si (만포시; 滿浦市; made into "si" October 1967)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Juche", Biblical Christianity"
  2. ^ "Why is the ruling party in North Korea called the Workers' Party instead of Korean Communist Party?", Quora"
  3. ^ Name of author, "North Korea Expanding WMD Production Capabilities: South Lawmaker", Nuclear Threat Initiative"
  5. ^ Charles Black, "Cutting Edge Disguises. Will the Real Kim Jong Un Please Stand Up?", Multi Fest
  6. ^ Charles Black, "Flashing Before our Eyes! Two Weeks with North Korea.", Multi Fest
  7. ^ Charles Black, "Is Tyranny Back En Vogue? Kim Jong Un or the Comeback Kid?", Multi Fest
  8. ^ "Defense". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  9. ^ "North Korea Expanding WMD Production Capabilities". Nuclear Threat Initiative. October 27, 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 

External links[edit]

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