Seoul National Capital Area

Seoul National Capital Area

Infobox Korean name
hangul = 수도권
hanja = 首都圈
rr = Sudogwon
mr = Sudokwŏn

The Seoul National Capital Area (SNCA) is a region located in the north-west of South Korea. It is generally referred to as Sudogwon in Korean, and contains three different administrative districts; Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi-do.

The SNCA is technically distinct from the Seoul Metropolitan Area (SMA), as the former is a fixed entity, while the latter refers to places currently considered under the economic, industrial and cultural influence of Seoul. Since the extension of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway to Cheonan in Chungcheongnam-do, some have classified Cheonan as now within the SMA, but not within the SNCA. However, the terms SNCA, SMA and Sudogwon are largely analogous and used interchangeably.

The Seoul National Capital Area has a population of 24.5 million (as of 2007)ref|ppl. It forms the cultural, commercial, financial, industrial, and residential center of South Korea. The largest city is Seoul, with a population of approximately 10.2 million people, followed by Incheon, with 2.6 million.

Geography and climate

The National Capital Area occupies a broad area of relatively flat land around the Han River valley. It contains some of the most fertile land on the Korean peninsula, although relatively little of it is now used for agriculture. The Gimpo Plain, one of the country's larger expanses of level arable land, covers much of the area of the cities of Gimpo and Guri.


The National Capital Area has been home to a Korean capital for around 2,000 years. Its central location and relatively gentle landscape have given it a central role in the country's affairs.

The first capital to be constructed in the region was that of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. The country's first capital was built in 19 BCE and was named Wiryeseong. This is believed to have been constructed near the modern-day boundary of Seoul and Gwangju City. However, Baekje was unable to hold this territory, and surrendered the Han River valley to Goguryeo in the 5th century. The land was then taken over by Silla in the 6th century, at which point it came to play a critical role in helping Silla to establish ties with China.

After the fall of Silla, Taejo of Goryeo established the capital of his kingdom in Kaesŏng, now just north of the Demilitarized Zone. During the Mongol invasions of Korea in the 12th century, the seat of government briefly shifted to Ganghwa Island, now just south of the DMZ in Incheon metropolitan city, where the Mongol naval attacks were repelled for about a decade before the king voluntarily surrendered to stop the carnage the Mongols committed in the peninsula, in order to lure the king out.

After the fall of Goryeo in 1394, the capital moved to Seoul (then called Hanseong or Hanyang), staying within the same region. During the new dynasty's rule, extensive road systems, administrative buildings, royal palaces, and new ports were built, quickly attracting wealth from all over the kingdom. During the Korean Empire period, Hanseong's public transportation was improved with the installation of streetcars and manually-drawn trolleys similar to taxis. Horse carriage systems similar to the ones in Europe were also established.

Following the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910, Hanseong was renamed Keijo (Gyeongseong) and served as colonial Korea's capital. Upon Korea's liberation from Japan in 1945, the former colonial capital was renamed Seoul and became capital of South Korea.

In the Korean War (1950-1953), the Capital Metropolitan Area became the focus of battles so destructive that most of Seoul and the surrounding regions were eradicated. Seoul was especially hit hard, since it exchanged hands four times during the course of the war.

During the latter half of the 20th century, the Capital Metropolitan Area began to rapidly develop as South Korea's economic wealth expanded. Population expanded fourfold since the Korean War. In 2001, the new Incheon International Airport took over all international flights to Seoul.


Covering only about 12% of the country's area, the Seoul metropolitan area is home to more than 48.2% of the national population, and is the world's 3rd largest urban area. This percentage has risen steadily since the mid-20th century, and the trend is expected to continue. Currently more than half of the people who move from one region to another are moving to the capital area.ref|trend1 By 2020, it is projected that more than 52% of South Korea's population will live within the area, or 25,520,450.8 people.ref|trend2


Various agencies have been set up to deal with the intergovernmental problems of the region. Proposals for consolidating some or all of the cities of the capital area into a handful of metropolitan cities have thus far not been implemented.

Development in the area is currently governed by the Capital Region Readjustment Planning Act (수도권정비계획법), first passed in 1982 and last revised in 1996.


The Seoul national capital area is divided among the special city of Seoul, the metropolitan city of Incheon, and province of Gyeonggi-do. Seoul has 25 gu (local government wards), Incheon has 10 gu and counties, and Gyeonggi-do has 31 cities and counties as the subdivisions.


The 25 gu of Seoul.
*Dobong-gu (도봉구; _ko. linktext|道|峰|區)
*Dongdaemun-gu (동대문구; _ko. linktext|東|大|門|區)
*Dongjak-gu (동작구; _ko. linktext|銅|雀|區)
*Eunpyeong-gu (은평구; _ko. linktext|恩|平|區)
*Gangbuk-gu (강북구; _ko. linktext|江|北|區)
*Gangdong-gu (강동구; _ko. linktext|江|東|區)
*Gangnam-gu (강남구; _ko. linktext|江|南|區)
*Gangseo-gu (강서구; _ko. linktext|江|西|區)
*Geumcheon-gu (금천구; _ko. linktext|衿|川|區)
*Guro-gu (구로구; _ko. linktext|九|老|區)
*Gwanak-gu (관악구; _ko. linktext|冠|岳|區)
*Gwangjin-gu (광진구; _ko. linktext|廣|津|區)
*Jongno-gu (종로구; _ko. linktext|鍾|路|區)
*Jung-gu (중구; _ko. linktext|中|區)
*Jungnang-gu (중랑구; _ko. linktext|中|浪|區)
*Mapo-gu (마포구; _ko. linktext|麻|浦|區)
*Nowon-gu (노원구; _ko. linktext|蘆|原|區)
*Seocho-gu (서초구; _ko. linktext|瑞|草|區)
*Seodaemun-gu (서대문구; _ko. linktext|西|大|門|區)
*Seongbuk-gu (성북구; _ko. linktext|城|北|區)
*Seongdong-gu (성동구; _ko. linktext|城|東|區)
*Songpa-gu (송파구; _ko. linktext|松|坡|區)
*Yangcheon-gu (양천구; _ko. linktext|陽|川|區)
*Yeongdeungpo-gu (영등포구; _ko. linktext|永|登|浦|區)
*Yongsan-gu (용산구; _ko. linktext|龍|山|區)


The 10 gu and counties of Incheon.
* Bupyeong-gu (부평구; 富平區)
* Dong-gu (동구; 東區)
* Gyeyang-gu (계양구; 桂陽區)
* Jung-gu (중구; 中區)
* Nam-gu (남구; 南區)
* Namdong-gu (남동구; 南洞區)
* Seo-gu (서구; 西區)
* Yeonsu-gu (연수구; 延壽區)
* Ganghwa-gun (강화군; 江華郡)
* Ongjin-gun (옹진군; 甕津郡)


The 31 cities and counties of Gyeonggi-do.
*Ansan (안산)
*Anseong (안성)
*Anyang (안양)
*Bucheon (부천)
*Dongducheon (동두천)
*Gapyeong (가평)
*Gimpo (김포)
*Goyang (고양)
*Gunpo (군포)
*Guri (구리)
*Gwacheon (과천)
*Gwangju (광주)
*Gwangmyeong (광명)
*Hanam (하남)
*Hwaseong (화성)
*Icheon (이천)
*Namyangju (남양주)
*Osan (오산)
*Paju (파주)
*Pocheon (포천)
*Pyeongtaek (평택)
*Seongnam (성남)
*Siheung (시흥)
*Suwon (수원)
*Uijeongbu (의정부)
*Uiwang (의왕)
*Yangju (양주)
*Yangpyeong (양평)
*Yeoju (여주)
*Yeoncheon (연천)
*Yongin (용인)


The cities of the capital area are tightly interconnected by road and rail. Many of the country's railroad lines, most notably the Gyeongbu Line, terminate in the region. In addition, the needs for commuter rail are served by the Seoul Metropolitan Subway, which passes not only through Seoul and Incheon, but also through most of the outlying cities.

In addition, the region is a nexus for travel by air and water. The country's two largest airports, Incheon International Airport and Gimpo Airport, are both located in the metropolitan area. International and domestic ferries depart from Incheon's various ferry terminals several times a day; in addition, massive volumes of international freight pass through the container terminals of Incheon (primarily bound to and from China).

Seoul Ring Expressway (Expressway No.100) connects satellite cities around Seoul, Ilsan, Toegyewon, Hanam, Pyeongchon, Songnae, Bundang, Pangyo and Gimpo.


#cite news|url= |title=e나라지표:수도권 인구 집중 현황|language=Korean |author=Korea National Statistical Office|date=2008-07-22
#cite news|url= |title=수도권 인구 편중현상 계속 |publisher=Korea National Statistical Office (KNSO) News|language=Korean |author=Ryu Boseon (류보선) |date=2005-08-23
#cite news|url= |title=각종 분산정책 불구하고 수도권은 ‘인구 블랙홀’|publisher=The Hankyoreh|language=Korean |author=Hong, Yong-deok (홍용덕)|date=2005-06-01

ee also

* Geography of South Korea
* Demographics of South Korea
* Metropolitan area
* List of metropolitan areas by population
* Subdivisions of South Korea
* List of Korea-related topics
* Seoul Ring Expressway

External links

* [ Metropolitan Air Quality Management Office, in Korean]
* [ Capital Region Development Institute, in Korean]
* [ Chosun Ilbo metro news, in Korean]
* []

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Seoul National University of Education — The Seoul National University of Education (SNUE) (서울교육대학교) is a government run institution which provides training for future public elementary school teachers in South Korea. Founded in May 1946 under the name of Kyunggi Public Regular School,… …   Wikipedia

  • Seoul — 서울   Special City   Seoul Special City   transcription(s)  – Hangul 서울특별시 …   Wikipedia

  • Capital region (disambiguation) — The terms capital region, and capital area, or national district may refer to Capital region, an administrative region surrounding a national capital Capital city The names Capital Region, Capital Area, or National District may refer to various… …   Wikipedia

  • Capital region — This article is about a term describing a national administrative division. For other uses, see Capital region (disambiguation). A capital region, also called a national capital region, capital district or capital territory is a common term for… …   Wikipedia

  • Seoul Subway Line 5 — Infobox Korean name title = Seoul Subway Line 5 color = #660099 fontcolor = #FFFFFF imgwidth = 120px caption = Transfer Sign rr = Seoul Jihacheol Je ohoseon mr = Sŏul Chihach ŏl Cheohosŏn hangul = 서울 지하철 제5호선 hanja = 서울地下鐵第五號線 Seoul Subway Line 5 …   Wikipedia

  • Seoul Subway Line 1 — Infobox rail line name = Seoul Subway Line 1 type = passenger start = Soyosan Station (northern end) end = Incheon, Cheonan, or Gwangmyeong Stations stations = 192 open = August 15, 1974 owner = Korea Rail Network Authority operator = Korail,… …   Wikipedia

  • Seoul Subway Line 4 — Infobox Korean name title = Seoul Subway Line 4 color = #1663fe fontcolor = #FFFFFF imgwidth = 120px caption = Transfer Sign rr = Seoul Jihacheol Sa ho seon mr = Sŏul Chihach ŏl Sa ho sŏn hangul = 서울 지하철 제4호선 hanja = 서울地下鐵第四號線Seoul Subway Line 4… …   Wikipedia

  • Seoul dialect — The Seoul dialect is the basis of the standard language of Korean in South Korea. It is spoken in the Seoul National Capital Area, which includes Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi.The vowels for e and ae are merged for young speakers. Vowel length is… …   Wikipedia

  • National Taiwan University — 國立臺灣大學 seal of the National Taiwan University Motto 敦品勵學,愛國愛人 (Chinese) Motto in English …   Wikipedia

  • National Yunlin University of Science and Technology — 國立雲林科技大學 Motto Sincerity, Honor, Perseverance, Originality Established 1991 Type National President Yeong Bin Yang …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.