The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Kaesŏng City
Korean Name
McCune-Reischauer Kaesŏng-si
Revised Romanization Gaeseong-si
Hangul 개성시
Hanja 開城市
Short Name Kaesŏng (Gaeseong;
개성; 開城)
Population ?
Area ?
Government City in North Hwanghae; former Directly Governed City
Split from Gyeonggi, 1951
Joined North Hwanghae, 2003
Dialect Seoul
Location Map
(Note: Map shows boundaries of former Kaesŏng Directly Governed City)
Kaesong, North Korea

Kaesŏng (Gaeseong) is a city in North Hwanghae Province, North Korea, a former Directly Governed City, and the capital of Korea during the Goryeo Dynasty. The city is near Kaesŏng Industrial Region.

When Yi Seonggye overthrew the Goryeo Dynasty in 1392 and established the Joseon Dynasty, he moved the Korean capital from Kaesŏng to Hanyang (modern-day Seoul). Kaesŏng remained a part of Gyeonggi Province until the Korean War. In 1951, the city (which had been part of South Korea) came under North Korean control, and the area around the city was organized into "Kaesŏng Region" (Kaesŏng Chigu; 개성 지구; 開城 地區). In 1955, Kaesŏng became a "Directly Governed City" (Kaesŏng Chikhalsi; 개성 직할시; 開城 直轄市). In 2002, Kaesŏng Industrial Region was formed from part of Kaesŏng. In 2003, the remaining part of Kaesŏng (exluding the Industrial Region) became part of North Hwanghae Province.

The city is close to the Demilitarized Zone that divides North and South Korea.


Former Administrative Divisions

Before 2002, Kaesŏng Directly Governed City was divided into 1 city (Kaesŏng itself) and 3 counties.

  • Kaesŏng-si (개성시, 開城市)
  • Changp'ung-gun (장풍군; 長豊郡)
  • Kaep'ung-gun (개풍군; 開豊郡)
  • P'anmun-gun (판문군; 板門郡)

In 2003, P'anmun-gun and part of Kaesŏng-si were separated from Kaesŏng Directly Governed City and merged to form Kaesŏng Industrial Region. The remaining part of Kaesŏng joined North Hwanghae in 2002.

Ancient capital of Koryo, other name: Songdo. Traditional trade prosperous, the suburb produces Korean Ginseng, is famous internationally. Now is DPRK light industry centre.


Located in middle Korea, among with Kyonggi Province, North Hwanghae Province, SouthHwanghae Province and Kangwon Province surrounding. Area is 1,309 km², the urban district is surrounded by Mountain Songal (489m) and Mountain Pongmyong.


Kaesŏng is connected Pyongyang and other cities by rail, highways and a dual purpose military and civilian air station.


It has Koryo Songgyungwan University (Light Industry), Communist University and Art College. Kaesong history museum has a lot of Koryo arts and cultural relics including Chomsongdae, Manwol Pavilion, Kaesong Nam Gate, Anhwa Temple, the Tomb of King Wanggon and the Tomb of King Kongmin. The suburbs have vetiges of the palaces of the previous royal dynasties. Twenty-four km north of Kaesŏng is the Pagyon Falls and Taehung Castle.


Kaesŏng is DPRK’s light industry centre. The urban district is equipped with a jewel processing factory, ginseng processing factory and an embroidery factory.

See also

External links

Last updated: 05-15-2005 21:38:12