_____ _____ South Korea

Global Sourcebook for International Data Management

                                         by Graham Rhind



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South Korea

Global Sourcebook | Index | Properties


For supplementary information, see links to post office home pages here External, to postal code pages here External and to other personal name and addressing issues pages here External.

Table of Contents

South Korea - Country information


Local short name form

Official name



51 829 136 (2020) [1]



International telephone access code


ISO 3166 country codes

Car nationality plate code


Internet country code


GRC Country Code


South Korea - Number format


(where . indicates the decimal separator and , the thousands separator)

South Korea - Date formats


   Note: This section last updated 15th June 2021

Korean separators are also used (yyyy년 mm월 dd일).


South Korea - Languages


Most of the population speak the national language, Korean External. There are some 24 000 speakers of Chinese.

South Korea - For the attention of


This may be transliterated to Ba’tnun Saram.

South Korea - Personal names


Korean names are written in the order family name +generation name+given name. For example, with the name:

   Kim Chul-soo

Kim is the family name, Chul the generation name and soo the given name. The generation name is shared by brothers and cousins, and in some cases, sisters. Koreans will sometimes write their names in the “Western” order when writing in English.

Women retain their maiden name upon marriage. In polite correspondence, use the full name and not just the family name. Children typically take the family name of the father.

There are only about 250 Korean family names currently in use, and the three most common (Kim, Lee, and Park) account for nearly half of the population.

Forms of address as we know them are not used in South Korea. Social status is very important and complex, and word suffixes to the name are used to show relative status. The concatenated suffix ssi is used for those of lower or equal status, or who are younger. The concatenated suffix nim is used as a mark of respect for those of a higher position or who are older. As offence is easily cause by incorrect use of these words, careful attention must be paid to their use.

   Tables of names can be acquired: given names External, surnames/family names External, family name prefixes External, forms of address External, job titles External

South Korea - Company legal forms


Korean company types include:

   주식회사 or 株式會社 (juseok hoesa) - stock firm
   유한회사 or 有限會社 (yuhan hoesa) - limited
   합자회사 or 合資會社 (hapja hoesa) - corporation similar to a limited partnership
   합명회사 or 合名會社 (hapmyoung hoesa) - corporation similar to a general partnership
   Comprehensive tables of these strings can be acquired – see http:www.grcdi.nl/addresses.htm External

South Korea - Address formats


   Note: This section last updated 19th October 2015

New system


South Korea has moved from a land lot-based address system (similar to that used in Japan, where streets, blocks and buildings are numbered) to a street name-based address system. Though the street name system is now the only official one, and must be used with all official institutions, old addressing will be commonly found for some time to come, sometimes in the same address block as the new system, and Korea Post will continue to support the old system for the time being.

Several streets in the same area may have the same name and be distinguished through the use of a unique number.

The string following the house number is usually a block name, the next line contains the street name. Please note that when an address is written in Korean, the structure is different. The structure should then be:

   Name of province or metropolis 
   Town, village or district and street name [ ]building number
   Name[ ]Form of address
   Postal code
   Name of province or metropolis
   Name of city, ward or village[ ]Town and street number[ ]Block, residence number
   Name[ ]Form of address
   Postal code

The suffix do (도, 道). indicates a province. These are divided into city (si, 시, 市) and gun (군; 郡, municipality). The country’s seven main cities are further divided into gu (구; 區), whilst other towns (eup, 읍; 邑) and cities are divided into gu, up and myeon (면; 面). Gu indicates a district, up the centre of a municipality and myeon the villages within a municipality surrounding an up. A city or gu may be further divided into dongs (동; 洞, districts), and each dong may be divided into ga (가; 街, block) or tong (통; 統). Up may be divided into ri (리; 里), indicating a neighbourhood or village.

-ho or -beonji indicate a house or apartment number.

Where streets have names they may end in -gil (smaller thoroughfares), or –daero (a thoroughfare with over 8 lanes), -ro (a thoroughfare with 2-7 lanes), -no or -lo for larger thoroughfares. –gil may be named after the main street from which they diverge and may be numbered in some way to indicate at what point the streets meet or which street it is counting up from the start of the main street; with odd numbers used for one side of the main street and even numbers for the other side. On named thoroughfares buildings are usually numbered in sequence (odd-numbers on one side, even on the other) based on distance along the street (numbers being assigned at 20 metre intervals, and running west to east or south to north). Addresses are assigned for the thoroughfare name closest to the main entrance of a building.


   1 - Current position is ‘Jungang-ro 1’. Jungang-ro 2~20 are in (→) direction.
   2 - Current position is ‘Daehan-daero 12’. Daehan-daero13~60 are in (↑) direction.
   3 - Current position is Intersection. Buildings numbered 1~5 are on the left(←), 
   and buildings numbered over 9 are on the right(→)
   4 - Odd numbers are on the left, even numbers are on the right
   5 - daero is a road with over 8 lanes
   6 - ro is a road between 2 and 7 lanes
   7 - gil is a road narrower than -ro
   8 - The distance between buildings is about 20m
   Taken from https://web.archive.org/web/20161024084300/http://www.juso.go.kr/eng/about/about2.htm External

On thoroughfares without names the buildings are usually numbered according to date of construction.

Old system


   A table containing information about the relevant position of elements within address blocks can be acquired External

South Korea - Post office box


When the address is written in English, this is written either P.O. Box or C.P.O. Box (Central Post Office Box).

South Korea - Postal codes


   Note: This section last updated 3rd August 2020

On 1st August 2015 a new 5-digit code was implemented. Each of the over 34000 codes conforms to a “state district number” which will be used for administration as well as for postal addressing. The first three numbers represent the city, province and city (si), municipality (gun) or autonomous district (jachigu). The final 2 digits are a serial number indicating the district within the larger administrative area.

There are no special codes for large users or post office boxes. The new code should not be used together with the old code.

There are currently no codes commencing 09, 19-20, 60 or 64-99.

The pre-2015 codes had theformat:


and may continue to be found in addresses and data files.

   Metadata containing postal code formatting rules, exceptions and regular expressions can be acquired External

South Korea - Postal code format graphic


South Korea - Postal code format

South Korea - Postal code specifics


South Korea - Postal code regular expression


South Korea - Postal code level of coverage


South Korea - Postal code map

imageClick on the map for a larger version

Place names in South Korea


   Note: This section last updated 6th December 2015

Refer to Exonyms in South Korea for full lists of place names in South Korea in other languages.

South Korea - Administrative districts


   Note: This section last updated 18th December 2023

South Korea has 7 provinces External (do) and 6 metropolitan cities (gwangyoksi, shown in the list below with an asterisk), 2 special autonomous provinces (jachido, shown in the list with #) and 1 capital metropolitan city (teukbyeolsi, shown in the list with §). These may be found in addresses. They are:

Postal code  
54-56 Cholla-bukto External
57-59 Cholla-namdo External
27-29 Ch’ungch’ong-bukto External
31-33 Ch’ungch’ong-namdo External
21-23 Inch’on-gwangyoksi External *
63 Jeju External #
24-26 Kangwon-do External #
61-62 Kwangju-gwangyoks External *
10-18 Kyonggi-do External
36-40 Kyongsang-bukto External
50-53 Kyongsang-namdo External
46-49 Pusan-gwangyoksi External *
01-08 Soul-t’ukpyolsi External §
41-43 Taegu-gwangyoksi External *
34-35 Taejon-gwangyoksi External *
44-45 Ulsan-gwangyoksi External *

The new administrative capital, Sejong, is a “Special Self-Governing City”, postal code range 30.

Administrative districts graphic


Telephone numbers in South Korea


South Korean mobile numbers have one of these area codes: 11, 16-19.

   Tables of telephone number information/formats can be acquired – see http://www.grcdi.nl/telephone.htm External 


  1. ^ citypopulation.de/en/southkorea/admin/ External 20230115

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All information copyright Graham Rhind 2024. Any information used should be acknowledged and referenced.