Committee for the Five Northern Korean Provinces

Committee for the Five Northern Korean Provinces
Hangul 이북 5도 위원회
Hanja 以北 五道 委員會
McCune–Reischauer ibug odo wiwonhoe
Map of North Korea with provincial divisions claimed by South Korea
Flag of the Committee for the Five Northern Korean Provinces

The Committee for the Five Northern Korean Provinces, literally "The North's Five Provinces Committee") is a South Korean government body under the Ministry of Security and Public Administration.


Established in 1949, the committee is officially responsible for the administration of the five Korean provinces located entirely north of the Military Demarcation Line, as the South Korean government formally claims to be the sole legitimate government of whole of Korea. The President of South Korea appoints governors for each of the five provinces.[1] However, their role is largely symbolic, as the territory is under the effective jurisdiction of North Korea. The committee's main practical function is to provide support to North Korean defectors living in South Korea, including helping with the resettlement of North Koreans and organizing social events for North Koreans.[1][2]

Despite its name, the committee plays no part in North Korea–South Korea relations; North Korean affairs are handled by the Ministry of Unification.[1] In the event of a North Korean collapse, contingency plans call for a new government body to be set up to administer the North under the leadership of the Unification Minister. In that case, the five governors would have to resign and the committee would be disbanded.[1][3]

Flags of the five northern Korean provinces

Southern provinces with territory in North Korea

Two South Korean provinces, Gyeonggi and Gangwon, officially have parts of their territory in North Korea. The South Korean government considers the governors of these two provinces the head of their entire province, including the parts in the North.[3]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "South Korea's Governors of Northern Provinces Don't—And Never Will—Govern". The Wall Street Journal. March 17, 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  2. "Purpose/Function". The Committee for the Five Northern Korean Provinces. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  3. 1 2 "South Korea's Governors-in-Theory for North Korea". The Wall Street Journal. March 18, 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014.

External links

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