Sokcho (속초; (Korean pronunciation: [sok̚.tɕʰo])) is a city in Gangwon-do province, South Korea. It is located in the far northeast of Gangwon-do. Lying north of the 38th parallel, the city belonged to North Korea from 1945 until the end of the Korean War, when the dividing line between the two Korean states was officially altered. Abai Maeul was originally set up as an area to house North Korean refugees in Sokcho due to the separation of the two Koreas. Consequently, many of the population have relatives in North Korea. Today, Sokcho receives a number of tourists attracted by the closeness to the DMZ. The city is also a well-known gateway to nearby Seoraksan national park.