Administrative divisions of North Korea

Administrative divisions of North Korea

The administrative divisions of North Korea are organized into three hierarchical levels. Many of the units have equivalents in the system of South Korea. At the highest level are nine provinces, two directly-governed cities, and three special administrative divisions. The second-level divisions are cities, counties, wards, and districts. These are further subdivided into third-level entities: towns, neighborhoods, villages, and "workers' districts".

The three-level administrative system used in North Korea was first inaugurated by Kim Il Sung in 1952, as part of a massive restructuring of local government. Previously, the country had used a multi-level system similar to that still used in South Korea.

(The English translations are not official, but approximations. Names are romanized according to the McCune-Reischauer system as officially used in North Korea; the editor was also guided by the spellings used on the 2003 National Geographic map of Korea).

First-level divisions

:"See Provinces, Special administrative regions, Directly governed cities, and Former directly governed cities below for a complete list.The nine provinces ("Do"; , _ko. ) derive from the traditional provinces of Korea, but have been further subdivided since the division of Korea. They are large areas including cities, rural and mountainous regions. The two directly governed cities ("Chikhalsi"; 직할시, _ko. 直轄市) are large metropolitan cities that have been separated from their former provinces to become first-level units. Four other cities have been directly governed in the past, but were subsequently reunited with their provinces or otherwise reorganized.

The three special administrative regions were all created in 2002 for the development of collaborative ventures with South Korea and other countries. One of them, the Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region, was intended to draw Chinese investment and enterprise, but as of 2006 appears never to have been implemented. The special administrative regions do not have any known second- and third-level subdivisions.

econd-level divisions

:"See List of second-level administrative divisions of North Korea for a complete list.The most common second-level division is the county ("Kun"; , _ko. ), a less urbanized area within a province or directly governed city. The more populous districts within provinces are cities ("Si"; , _ko. ), and the city of Nampho is a special city ("T'ŭkkŭpsi"; 특급시, _ko. 特級市). Some provinces also have two types of districts ("Ku", "Chigu").

The city centers of the directly-governed cities are organized into wards ("Kuyŏk," equivalent to South Korean "Gu").

Third-level divisions

Rural parts of cities and counties are organized into villages ("Ri"). The downtown areas within cities are divided into neighborhoods ("Dong"), and a populous part of a county forms a town ("Ŭp"). Some counties also have worker's districts ("Rodongjagu").


*Chagang Province ("Chagang-do;" 자강도; 慈江道)
*North Hamgyŏng Province ("Hamgyŏng-pukto;" 함경 북도; _ko. 咸鏡北道)
*South Hamgyŏng Province ("Hamgyŏng-namdo;" 함경 남도; _ko. 咸鏡南道)
*North Hwanghae Province ("Hwanghae-pukto;" 황해 북도; _ko. 黃海北道)
*South Hwanghae Province ("Hwanghae-namdo;" 황해 남도; _ko. 黃海南道)
*Kangwŏn Province ("Kangwŏndo;" 강원도; _ko. 江原道)
*North P'yŏngan Province ("P'yŏngan-pukto;" 평안 북도; _ko. 平安北道)
*South P'yŏngan Province ("P'yŏngan-namdo;" 평안 남도; _ko. 平安南道)
*Ryanggang Province ("Ryanggang-do;" 량강도; _ko. 兩江道)1

#Sometimes also spelled as "Yanggang" in English.

pecial Administrative Regions

*Kaesŏng Industrial Region ("Kaesŏng Kongŏp Chigu;" 개성 공업 지구; _ko. 開城工業地區)
*Kŭmgangsan Tourist Region ("Kŭmgangsan Kwan'gwang Chigu;" 금강산 관광 지구; _ko. 金剛山觀光地區)
*Sinŭiju Special Administrative Region ("Sinŭiju T'ŭkbyŏl Haengjeonggu"; 신의주 특별 행정구; _ko. 新義州特別行政區)

Directly-governed cities

*P'yŏngyang Directly Governed City ("P'yŏngyang Chikhalsi"; 평양 직할시; _ko. 平壤直轄市) - The city is classified as a Directly Governed City (Chikhalsi), not a Special City as Seoul in South Korea. In fact, the North Korean national newspaper and broadcasting say "Pyongyang "Chikhalsi". Some sources, most of them come from South Korea, refer the city as a Special City; however these are the old sources. Moreover, South Korea has corrected the city as a Directly Governed City, according to a South Korean newspaper in 1994.
*Rasŏn (Rajin-Sŏnbong) Directly Governed City ("Rasŏn (Rajin-Sŏnbong) Chikhalsi"; 라선 (라진-선봉) 직할시; _ko. 羅先 (羅津-先鋒) 直轄市)

Former Directly Governed Cities

*Ch'ŏngjin City (청진시; _ko. 淸津市) used to be a Directly Governed City, but is now part of North Hamgyŏng Province.
*Hamhŭng City (함흥시; _ko. 咸興市) was a Directly Governed City in the 1960s, but is now part of South Hamgyŏng Province.
*Kaesŏng City (개성시; _ko. 開城市) (distinct from Kaesŏng Industrial Region) was a Directly Governed City until 2003, but is now part of North Hwanghae Province.
*Namp'o Special City ("Namp'o T'ŭkkŭpsi;" 남포 특급시; _ko. 南浦特級市) was a Directly Governed City until 2004, but is now part of South P'yŏng'an Province.


The sources for this article are "Chosun Ilbo's" pages [ 행정구역 현황 ("Haengjeong Guyeok Hyeonhwang")] and [ 행정구역 개편 일지 ("Haengjeong Guyeok Gaepyeon Ilji")] (Korean only; updated 2004).

ee also

*, ISO codes for cities, regions, and provinces in North Korea
*Administrative divisions of South Korea
*Provinces of Korea
*Special cities of Korea

External links

* [ regions map] , World Food Programme

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