Wŏnsan is a port city and naval base located in Kangwŏn Province, North Korea, along the eastern side of the Korean Peninsula, on the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and the provincial capital. The port was opened by occupying Japanese forces in 1880. Before the 1950–1953 Korean War, it fell within the jurisdiction of the then South Hamgyŏng province, and during the war it was the location of the Blockade of Wŏnsan. The population of the city was estimated at 329,207 in 2013. Notable people from Wŏnsan include Kim Ki Nam, diplomat and Secretary of the Korean Workers’ Party. The city has several major factories.
In 2013, it was announced that Wŏnsan would be converted into a summer destination with resorts and entertainment. Having spent his childhood years there, Kim Jong Un has expressed significant interest in further developing the region, with the construction of new infrastructure such as Kalma Airport, a dual-use civilian international airport and military proving ground. A state corporation, the Wonson Zone Development Corporation has been established with feasibility studies for a wide variety of hotels, commericial, and industrial development.
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