Map of Korea (6): Kangwon Province
Featuring a back part the rabbit-looking Korean Peninsula, Kangwon Province is divided into the North Kangwon Province and South Kangwon Province by the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), symbol of national tragedy bisecting Korea into the north and the south.
Looking at the southeastern part of North Kangwon Province, there lies Mt. Kumgang, the No. 1 must-see mountain in the DPRK, which recently enticed south Korea’s largest conglomerate Hyundai into contracting a mega-million inter-Korean tourist project. Hyundai patriarch Chung Ju Yong, the north Korean-born richest man in south Korea, well remembers a saying, “See Mt. Kumgang and die.”
In general, most part of the province is covered by some 1,500-meter high Taebaek mountains, a rugged mountainous stretch, which is likened to a spine as they dominate the most parts of the easternmost province.
A bird’s-eye view from the east side of the Taebaek mountain shows a stretch of steep slopes running from the northwest to the southeast, and there is only some 10 kilometers left, on average, from their foots to the seashore.
The coastal line facing the East Sea of Korea is simple, and Sokcho, located just in the heart of it, is a famous port city.
On the west side of the Taebaek mountains, meanwhile, gentle slopes present themselves instead.
In addition to Mt. Kumgang, called the “diamond mountain” for its timeless beauty, there is also other scenic mountains such as Mt. Sorak, famed for providing visitors with thousands of different views including geometrically patterned unique combinations of rocks.
Thanks to the Taebaek mountains, the province is rich in forest resources.
On top of which are found rare underground resources in and around the Taebaek mountains such as, limestone and tungsten.
In North Kangwon Province, heavy industries are active across the province such as auto manufacturing, ship building and cement producing industries. Its seat of the government Wonsan is a hub of the province’s industrial activity.
Light industries are also brisk in the province as it produces paper, bag and daily necessities, utilizing its rich underground resources.
Crop growing such as corn dominates the agriculture of North Kangwon Province, where stockbreeding is also encouraged.
Meanwhile in South Kangwon Province, Hwajon work, or ground-burnt-off-for-cultivation, is now underway to preserve its forest resources, the largest of its kind in south Korea. Ranch development is also being pushed ahead with simultaneously to spur milk and beef production.
At the mountain foot areas near the southwestern city of Wonju, there are formed many terraced farms which are oriented toward producing mulberries and beer barley, thus making the province famous for beer brewing.
Abundant in coal, tungsten and limestone, South Kangwon Province, as a whole, is the largest mining province in south Korea.
Strange-shaped rocks unique to the areas around Mt. Kumgang.
Kimkanzolon, natural monument flower which only inhabits in and around Mt. Kumgang.
Piro Peak, Mt. Kumgang's highest peak.
|Kuryo Waterfall, one of three major waterfalls in Korea, stands as tall as 74 meters.|
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