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Kangwon

do (province), southeastern North Korea, facing the Sea of Japan (East Sea). The province consists of the small northern part of the former Kangwon Province, which was divided by the 38th parallel in 1945 and, after the armistice following the Korean War (1953), by the truce line. In 1945 Wonsan city and two counties from Hamgyong-namdo (South Hamgyong Province) were included as part of Kangwon-do. Most of the province's area of 4,100 sq mi (10,600 sq km) is in the northern end of the T'aebaek-sanmaek (mountains), where Kumgang-san (mountain; 5,374 ft [1,638 m]) has been known since antiquity as one of the most picturesque places in the Far East. It has fantastic rocks and peaks (12,000 have been counted), precipices and stone pillars formed by erosion, deep ponds and waterfalls, a variety of thick broadleaf and needle-leaf trees, and more than 100 old temples, including the Changan-sa, Maha-yon, and Sin'gye-sa temples. Agriculture has developed since the war, and products include grains and fruits, especially persimmons. Fishing has also become important. There are abundant reserves of such underground resources as lead, zinc, gold, silver, nickel, manganese, anthracite coal, and brown coal. Industries, including shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing, refining, and cement manufacturing, are concentrated around Wonsan, the provincial capital. Pop. (1987 est.) 1,227,000.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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