South Hamgyong



South Hamgyong Province is located on the east coast of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It is bordered to the north-east by North Hamgyong Province, to the north by Ryanggang Province, to the north-west by Chagang Province, to the south by Kangwon Province and to the west by South Pyongan Province.


The province is incredibly diverse due to the huge area it covers. South Hamgyong stretches from the far north deep in the Rangrim mountain range down to the relatively flat land near the capital, Hamhung where the Songchon river meets the east sea. South of Hamhung, a series of river deltas have formed a large flat plain, one of the few areas of level ground in the province creating a rare opportunity for agriculture.


The region has an economy as diverse as it's terrain; the low-lying southern region is dominated by agriculture. Due to the overall lack of suitable farmland in the country, almost all land suitable for cultivation is used for agriculture. In this area, the dominant industry is rice cultivation however orcharding and livestock farming is also present in some counties in the south of the province.

The capital, Hamhung, is a centre for the chemical industry and serves as an international port which allows for the easy import of raw materials to sustain the economy as well as a route to export goods domestically as well as internationally.

All along the coastline, there are towns and villages serving as fisheries; most notably at the city of Sinpo which serves as a centre for aquaculture as well as a major naval base.

Manufacturing and mining also make up a significant portion of the economy since the mountainous regions in the north cannot sustain agriculture. The city of Tanchon near the border with North Hamgyong is a perfect example of such a region since the economy is based on mining, manufacturing and heavy industry.

A farming village in southern South Hamgyong
Heavy industry in the provncial capital Hamhung

Notable Sites

Changjin Lake (also known as Chosin Reservoir) is the source of the Taedong river which flows from the lake through the Rangrim mountains and then through the capital Pyongyang before reaching the West Sea at Nampo at the West Sea Barrage. The lake was the site of one of the most infamous battles of the Korean conflict in 1950 when Chinese troops of the People's Volunteer Army encircled UN troops near the lake leading to the withdrawal of UN forces from the area and a decisive step towards the ongoing campaign to liberate north-eastern Korea by the Chinese and DPRK forces.

Revolutionary History

The Pujon Highlands, north of the city of Hamhung, are home to the Pujon Revolutionary Site at Mt. Okryu. During the 1930s as the anti-japanese guerilla campaign intensified, camps were constructed in the mountains to serve as bases for the guerilla forces. This site once hosted Kim Jong Suk in 1939, the future wife of the President Kim Il Sung, who commanded anti-Japanese activities from Pujon.

Hamhung City Centre
The Rangrim Mountains dominate the northern part of the province.
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