What Is The Capital Of South Korea?

The National Assembly of South Korea in Seoul.
The National Assembly of South Korea in Seoul.

What Is The Capital Of South Korea?

Seoul is the official capital City of South Korea and Sejong City is the De facto administrative capital of the country. Sejong was initially constructed to replace Seoul as the capital of South Korea due to its central location. However, this move was never realized, and so Sejong became an administrative center with about 36 government ministries and 16 agencies. Seoul remained as the commercial, political, education, and financial center of South Korea. Other cities in the country include Busan, one of the busiest seaports by tonnage in the world. More than 3 million residents live in Incheon Metropolitan City, making Incheon the third most populous city in South Korea.


Seoul is South Korea's Capital City located along the Han River. Seoul was also the capital of Korea as from 1394 before the formal division in 1948 when it became the official capital of South Korea. It covers an area of about 234 square miles. The city was constructed along the Han River and almost at the center of the Peninsula some sixty kilometers from the yellow sea. This strategic location provided a natural defensive redoubt and also lay in the trade routes of grain, taxes, and other goods. Today, the city has a reinforced defensive advantage of an 11 miles long wall running along the small hills that naturally protect the city. The greenbelt surrounding Seoul parameter prohibits any further extensions of the city. As such, urban sprawl extends to other places outside the greenbelt to create new residential areas in satellite cities and the suburbs. For example, Kangman is an affluent area that provides office suites and high-rise apartments as it develops into Seoul’s Second Central Business District. Seoul also serves as South Korea’s cultural center. It houses the National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Arts, the National Classical Music Institute, the National Museum of Korea and Sejong Center for Performing Acts. Manufacturing companies and service industries such as finance drive the economy of the city. It holds the largest retail marketing the country, the Dongdaemun Market. There is also Myeongdong, a shopping and entertainment zone in downtown Seoul, Namdaemun Market and Insadong cultural art market.

Sejong City

Sejong Special Autonomous City in South Korea is the de facto administrative capital of the country. Central urban centers include Jochiwon-eap and Hansol-dong. The city has four executive neighborhood, one town, and nine townships. The government has 36 ministries and about 16 agencies to Sejong. For example, Sejong Government Complex occupies about 213,000-square-metre and houses many head offices. Ministries relocated include those of land, education, health, trade, environment, infrastructure and transport, and other government ministries and agencies such as the Korean Maritime Safety Tribunal. Education facilities in Sejong include the Korean Development Institute (KDI) School of Public Policy and Management, the Global Consortium University and Korean University Sejong Campus. There are also several high schools like Chochiwon Girl’s, an all girl school, and Bugang Engineering School. A National railway connects the city to Seoul, and there also the KTX Osong Station in Cheongwon. Cheongju International Airport also serves the city.

Other Major Cities Of South Korea


Busan Metropolitan is the second largest town in South Korea. It has a population of about 3.6 million people. Busan is located in “The Southern Economic Zone,” the biggest industrial area in South Korea, making the city an education, cultural, and economic center. Busan is also the largest port city in South Korea. Busan port ranks as No. 5 in the busiest seaport in the world. Busan handles 13.2 million TEU shipping containers. Busan is a Metropolitan City with 15 major districts and one county. Apart from that, Busan houses Korea’s longest river, largest beach, Shinsegae Centum Center and the largest department store in the world. Busan is an internationally renowned business center famous for its steel, machinery, marine industries, shipbuilding, tourism and fashion, and trade fairs. The Free Economic Zone reasserted Busan as an international trading center. It attracts ship from every corner of the planet making it the regional financial center. As such, Korea’s sole securities exchange operator has its headquarters in Busan. Education facilities in the city include Busan University of Foreign Studies, Busan Presbyterian University and many more universities, colleges, and schools both public and under private ownership.


Incheon Metropolitan City located in the northwestern parts of South Korea is home to almost 3 million people making Incheon the third most populous city in South Korea after Seoul and Busan. Incheon is an international city having hosted numerous international conferences such as the 17th Asian Games in 2014 and the 2009 Global Fair and Festival. The Green Climate Fund is an international organization that addresses environmental issues located in Incheon. The city is the Capital Industrial Center, even though the city’s designation as a Free Economic Zone reduced the city over-reliance on manufacturing industries and such new industries need establishment. Incheon is Seoul Capital Area and Gyeonggi Province, and together these three regions make up the second largest metropolitan region by population in the world. The major industrial parks in the city include the Bupyeong industrial complex that hosts GM Incheon plant and Juan industrial complex. Incheon International Airport is serviced by Korean Air and Asiana Airlines as the leading carriers. Incheon port is the second largest seaport in Korea after Busan’s. Major destinations include Dalian, Tianjin, dingdong, Weihai, and Qingdao all in China. Other transport systems include the modern road and railway system in the country.

South Korea has many cities. These modern cities serve as commercial, financial, and cultural centers in the region. Most of the towns manufacture products essential in the global market. The service industries are also well organized and developed. South Koreans live a high profile urban lifestyle with a 92% public profile. The city of Seoul has achieved global recognitions as the sixth leading global city, and it is the fourth largest economy in the world.


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