Cities of south korea

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The largest cities of South Korea have self-governing status equivalent to that of provinces. Seoul, the largest city and capital, is classified as a teukbyeolsi (Special City), while the next 6 largest cities (see the list below) are classified as gwangyeoksi (Metropolitan Cities; see Special cities of Korea). Smaller cities are classified as si ("cities") and are under provincial jurisdiction, at the same level as counties (see Administrative divisions of South Korea).


Self-governing cities with the status of provinces

Table 2: Special Cities and Metropolitan Cities of South Korea Note: South Korea uses the Revised Romanisation of Korean.
Romanization Hangul Hanja Year of Split Province split from
Seoul Teukbyeolsi 서울 특별시 See note below December, 1067 Yangju (then Namgyeong)
Busan Gwangyeoksi 부산 광역시 釜山廣域市 January 1, 1963 S. Gyeongsang
Daegu Gwangyeoksi 대구 광역시 大邱廣域市 July 1, 1981 N. Gyeongsang
Incheon Gwangyeoksi 인천 광역시 仁川廣域市 July 1, 1981 Gyeonggi
Gwangju Gwangyeoksi 광주 광역시 光州廣域市 November 1, 1986 S. Jeolla
Daejeon Gwangyeoksi 대전 광역시 大田廣域市 January 1, 1989 S. Chungcheong
Ulsan Gwangyeoksi 울산 광역시 蔚山廣域市 July 15, 1997 S. Gyeongsang


  • The name "Seoul" does not originate from hanja. In China, it is written as 首爾/首尔, which is a transcription based on the pronunciation of "Seoul". As a suffix, the character gyeong (京) is used, which means "capital".
  • Seoul was designated a "Special Free City" (Teukbyeol Jayusi; 특별 자유시; 特別自由市) separate from Gyeonggi Province on August 15, 1946; it became a "Special City" on August 15, 1949.
  • All of the above cities except Ulsan have metro (subway) systems either in operation or under construction.

Provincial Cities of Gyeonggi-do

Other Provincial Cities







  • Jeonju (전주시; 全州市, capital)
  • Gimje (김제시; 金堤市)
  • Gunsan (군산시; 群山市)
  • Iksan (익산시; 益山市)
  • Jeongeup (정읍시; 井邑市)
  • Namwon (남원시; 南原市)


Jeju Teukbyeoljachi-do

Most populous South Korean cities

1 서울 Seoul 10,421,781 (2007) Located along the Han River, Seoul is South Korea's economic powerhouse, capital, and largest city. It is governed as a Special City.
2 부산 Busan 3,635,389 (2006) South Korea's second largest city and busiest seaport, Busan is considered a Metropolitan City.
3 대구 Daegu 2,752,570 (2005) Daegu is a Metropolitan City and the Capital of the Gyeongsangbuk-do province.
4 인천 Incheon 2,628,000 (2005) Incheon is a Metropolitan City and the second largest seaport in South Korea.
5 대전 Daejeon 1,442,856 (2005) Daejeon is a Metropolitan City and the Capital of the Chungcheongnam-do province.
6 광주 Gwangju 1,425,953 (2006) Gwangju is a Metropolitan City and the site of a political massacre in Korean History.
7 울산 Ulsan 1,087,958 (2004) Ulsan is a metropolitan city known for its industrial district.
8 수원 Suwon 1,086,904 (2008) Suwon is the capital of Gyeonggi-do province and home to Hwaseong Fortress. It is to the South of Seoul.
9 고양 Goyang 1,073,069 Goyang is a suburban city located in Gyeonggi-do north of Seoul, and in it is Ilsan
10 성남 Seongnam 1,023,009 Seongnam is a suburban city in Gyeonggi-do. The prosperous district of Bundang is located here and is connected to the Seoul Metropolitan Subway.


See also

External links


Adapted from the Wikipedia articles on South Korea from used under the GNU Free Documentation License along with photos from Wikimedia commons

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