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Administrative divisions of Korea

(Note: This page is currently under construction. Some of the information is incomplete, and some of it is duplicated in other articles. This will be fixed shortly.)

This article describes the present-day administrative divisions (Haengjeong guyeok (행정 구역; 行政區域) in Korean) of North and South Korea. For historical information, please see the articles Provinces of Korea and Special cities of Korea.

Table of contents
1 Classification
2 North Korea
3 South Korea


In South Korea, the principal administrative divisions are: Teukbyeolsi, Gwangyeoksi (formerly Jikhalsi), Do, Si, Gun, Gu, Eup, Myeon, and Dong, as explained below.

(Note on translation: Korean does not normally differentiate between singular and plural; thus, all italicized terms below should be treated as plural words. The English translations, however, are given in the singular.)

At the national level, South Korea is divided into Teukbyeolsi (특별시; 特別市; "Special city"), Gwangyeoksi (광역시; 廣域市; "Metropolitan city"), and Do (도; 道; "Province"). Seoul--the capital, largest city, and oldest self-governing city--is the only Teukbyeolsi. The next 6 largest cities are self-governing Gwangyeoksi. Before 1995, all Gwangyeoksi except Ulsan (the smallest, which was not yet self-governing) were called Jikhalsi (직할시; 直轄市; "Directly Controlled City"). All smaller cities and rural areas are grouped into nine Do. (See Special cities of Korea and Provinces of Korea)

Do are divided into Si (시; 市; "City") and Gun (군; 郡; "County"). Teukbyeolsi, Gwangyeoksi, and some large Si (e.g., Suwon, Cheongju, and Jeonju) are divided into Gu (구; 區; "District"), which are roughly equivalent to the boroughs of London or the arrondissements of Paris. Gu and smaller Si are divided into Dong (동; 洞), which are basically individual neighbourhoods.

Gun are a rural division of Do, but some Gwangyeoksi (namely, Busan, Daegu, Incheon, and Ulsan) also have Gun in their rural outskirts. Each Gun has one Eup (읍; 邑; "Town")--its county seat--and several Myeon (면; 面), which are rural areas consisting of small towns and villages.

North Korea

As of 2003, North Korea consists of 9 Provinces (Do, singular and plural; ; ) 3 Directly Governed [Self-Governing] Cities (Chik'alshi, singular and plural; 직할시; 直轄市), and several other regions, as listed below. (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).

Ch'ŏngjin City (청진시; 淸津市) used to be a self-governing city, but is now part of North Hamgyŏng Province. The source for this section is located at Chosun Ilbo's page (but is only in Korean).

South Korea

South Korea consists of 9 Provinces (do, singular and plural;
; ), 1 Special City (Teukbyeolsi; 특별시; 特別市), and 6 Metropolitan Cities (Gwangyeoksi, singular and plural; 광역시; 廣域市):