Ryanggang Province

Ryanggang Province
Korean transcription(s)
  McCuneReischauer Ryanggang-do
  Revised Romanization Yanggang-do
Country North Korea
Region Kwannam
Capital Hyesan
Subdivisions 1 cities; 11 counties
  Total 14,317 km2 (5,528 sq mi)
Population (2008)
  Total 719,269
  Density 50/km2 (130/sq mi)
Dialect Hamgyŏng

Ryanggang Province (Ryanggangdo; Korean: 량강도, Ryanggang-do, pronounced [ɾjaŋɡaŋ] or [jaŋɡaŋ]) is a province in North Korea. The province is bordered by China on the north, North Hamgyong on the east, South Hamgyong on the south, and Chagang on the west. Ryanggang was formed in 1954, when it was separated from South Hamgyŏng. The provincial capital is Hyesan. In South Korean usage, "Ryanggang" is spelled and pronounced as "Yanggang."


Along the northern border with China runs the Yalu River and the Tumen River. In between the rivers, and the source of both, is Paektu Mountain, revered by both the Koreans and Manchurians as the mythic origin of each people. The North Korean government claims that Kim Jong-il was born there when his parents were at a Communist resistance camp at the mountain. The North Korean-Chinese border for 20 miles east of the mountain is "dry, remote and mountainous, barely patrolled," making it one of the crossing areas for refugees from North Korea into China, although most, including refugees from Ryanggang itself, prefer to cross over the Tumen River.[1]

Although all of North Korea is economically depressed, Ryanggang province, along with neighboring North Hamgyong and South Hamgyong provinces, are the poorest, forming North Korea's "Rust Belt" of industrialized cities with factories now decrepit and failing. The worst hunger of the 1990s famine years occurred in these three provinces, and most refugees into China come from the Rust Belt region.[1]

Ryanggang explosion

Main article: Ryanggang explosion

An explosion and mushroom cloud was reportedly detected in Kimhyŏngjik-gun on 9 September 2004, the 56th anniversary of the creation of North Korea. This was reported a few days later on 12 September.

Power supply issues

In recent years, power supply problems have become prevalent in Ryanggang.

Administrative divisions

Ryanggang is divided into 1 city ("Si") and 11 counties ("gun").

See also


  1. 1 2 Onishi, Norimitsu (22 October 2006). "Tension, Desperation: The China-North Korean Border". New York Times. The information cited in this footnote comes from the captions to the large illustrated map published with the newspaper article and available online with it.
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