"Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes, Edition 2" (GENC), a U.S. standard that's supposed to correspond to ISO 3166-2, was issued on 2014-03-31.
It gives Sejong the code
KR-50. Its codes for all the other provinces and cities match the ISO codes. However, ISO hasn't yet
officially issued a code for Sejong.
Thanks to Sorin Cosoveanu, I located census data for 2000 and 2010. I had formerly listed 2000 census data rounded to the nearest 1000; source  gave precise figures. Its figures for Gyeongsangnam-do and total Korea were about 70,000 less than I had previously shown, but the rest were all consistent.
Update 9 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2012-09-01. It includes a new code for Sejong.
On 2004-08-11, South Korea announced plans to move its capital from Seoul by 2020. South Korea's Constitutional Court rejected the move, on the ground that the constitution names Seoul specifically as capital. However, the construction of a new city and the move of numerous administrative offices to that city have gone ahead. Now the new city, Sejong, has been inaugurated as a special autonomous city (teukbyeol-jachisi). Thanks to Sorin Cosoveanu for bringing that to my attention.
Update 7 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes, the successor to FIPS standard 10-4, was issued with the date 2012-02-01. It changes some spellings to conform to new Hangeul, including the names of the types of subdivision. Going still further, it simplifies the names of some provinces. For example, Chungch'ŏng-bukto becomes Chungbuk. These simplified names are shown below, in the Other names of subdivisions section, with the tag "reduced".
The National Geographic Magazine (source ) reports that South Korea adopted a new romanization system on 2000-07-04, intended to replace the McCune-Reischauer system. The new system was developed by the National Academy of the Korean Language (NAKL). It seems to be called the "new Hangeul system" in discussions on the Internet. One of its objectives is to eliminate the use of apostrophes and breves that might otherwise get lost, especially in computer implementations. I've added the new romanizations of names, as shown on the National Geographic map.
International standard ISO 3166-2 was published on 1998-12-15. It superseded ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft international standard). For South Korea, the draft standard showed fifteen divisions. The final standard shows the same fifteen divisions plus one more: Ulsan city. Also, many of the ISO codes were changed from the draft. The FIPS standard recognized the creation of Ulsan city in Change Notice 7, dated 2002-01-10, which lists new codes resulting from the splitting of Ulsan from Gyeongsangnam-do.
|Short name||KOREA, SOUTH|
See North Korea for the country overview of the Korean peninsula during the 20th century.
Korean koryo, dynastic name, meaning high serenity.
South Korea is divided into eight do (provinces), six gwangyeoksi (metropolitan cities), one teukbyeol jachido (special autonomous province), one teukbyeol jachisi (special autonomous city), and one teukbyeolsi (capital metropolitan city). (Buk = north, nam = south.)
The provinces are subdivided into over 200 gun (counties) and shi (cities).
According to source , originally (1896?) Korea was divided into 360 ju (districts). After Japan's 1910 annexation of Korea, many of the secondary and tertiary administrative divisions were merged or altered. In 1937 the number of districts was 220. Jeju and Ulleung islands were special administrative districts, and counted as two districts in the total.
The Korean National Statistical Office has defined a hierarchical set of codes (KOSIS codes, source ) for the administrative divisions of South Korea. The primary divisions, as shown in the table above, are represented by two-digit codes. On the secondary level, metropolitan cities are subdivided into districts; provinces are subdivided into cities, counties, etc. Secondary subdivisions are all represented by four-digit codes, in which the first two digits indicate the primary division. Some of the secondary-level cities are divided into units on the tertiary level called districts. Tertiary subdivisions are denoted by five-digit codes, in which the first four digits indicate the city.
Most of these derivations come from source .
|Province||Japanese name||Population||Area(km.²)||Now in||Capital|
|North Cholla||Zenra Hoku-do||1,535,827||8,550||South||Jeonju (Zenshu)|
|South Cholla||Zenra Nan-do||2,409,602||13,882||South||Gwangju (Koshu)|
|North Chungchong||Chusei Hoku-do||913,407||7,415||South||Cheongju (Seishu)|
|South Chungchong||Chusei Nan-do||1,469,640||8,104||South||Daejeon (Taiden)|
|North Hamgyong||Kankyo Hoku-do||792,293||20,342||North||Nanam (Ranan)|
|South Hamgyong||Kankyo Nan-do||1,603,335||31,971||North||Hamhung (Kanko)|
|North Kyongsang||Keisho Hoku-do||2,469,103||18,985||South||Daegu (Taikyu)|
|South Kyongsang||Keisho Nan-do||2,191,512||12,302||South||Busan (Fusan)|
|North Pyongang||Heian Hoku-do||1,617,785||28,433||North||Sinuiju (Shingishu)|
|South Pyongang||Heian Nan-do||1,409,031||14,934||North||P'yongyang (Heijo)|
KR.GB) and Chungcheongnam-do (
KR.GN) provinces, mostly the latter. It covers 465.2 km.². Specifically, it incorporates parts of Yeongi county and Gongju city in Chungcheongnam-do, and part of Cheongan county in Chungcheongbuk-do.
These names were all first written in Korean characters, of course. On this page, they appear transliterated into the Roman alphabet. There are several systems of romanization in use, which accounts for much of the variation in spelling. Currently the new Hangeul system is official. The McCune-Reischauer system was preferred until recently.
In Korean, the same letter may be pronounced differently, depending on the letters in juxtaposition with it. The McCune-Reischauer system takes this into account. Other romanizations may replace p with b, ch with j, k with g, and so on.
The names of these divisions usually have generics suffixed to them. The generics are "do" for province, "gwangyeoksi" ("gwangyŏksi") for metropolitan city, and "teugbyeolsi" ("t'ŭkpyŏlsi") for capital metropolitan city. They may be written as separate words, hyphenated, or joined with the specific name. When "do" is joined to a name ending with k, it changes to "to" in the McCune-Reischauer system. Some alternate transliterations of "gwangyeoksi" are "gwang'yeogsi" and "kwangyokshi".
Korea became a Japanese protectorate in 1905-12, and then a colony on 1910-08-22. It regained its independence with the surrender of Japan on 1945-09-02. During the period of Japanese domination, Japanese names for the cities and provinces (the "Japanese" tags below) were in use.
Here are some recognized alternate names for Korean provinces and metropolitan cities. The "variant" tags are usually different romanizations.
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