Sejong (Korean pronunciation: [se(ː).dʑoŋ]; Korean세종; Hanja世宗), officially Sejong Special Autonomous City[2] (세종특별자치시; 世宗特別自治市), is a special autonomous city in South Korea.


Sejong Special Autonomous City
 • Hangul세종특별
 • Hanja特別
 • Revised RomanizationSejong Teukbyeol-jachisi
 • McCune-ReischauerSechong T’ŭkpyŏl-chach’isi
Hannuridaero and Bangchukcheon.jpg
Flag of Sejong
Official logo of Sejong
Country South Korea
First settled2012
 • TypeMayor–Council
 • MayorLee Choon-hee (Democratic)
 • BodySejong City Council
 • Total465.23 km2 (179.63 sq mi)
 (November, 2017)
 • Total281,120[1]
 • Dialect
Area code(s)+82-44
Construction site in Sejong, November 2009

Sejong was founded in 2007 as the new national capital of South Korea from territory of South Chungcheong and North Chungcheong provinces to ease congestion in South Korea's current capital and largest city, Seoul, and encourage investment in the country's central region. Since 2012, the Government of South Korea has relocated numerous ministries and agencies to Sejong, but many still reside in other cities - principally Seoul where the National Assembly and many important government bodies remain.

Sejong has a population of 281,120 (2017) and covers a geographic area of 465.23 km2 (179.63 sq mi), making it the least-populous and smallest first-level administrative division in South Korea. Sejong is located in the west-central Hoseo region, bordering South Chungcheong to the west, Daejeon Metropolitan City to the south, and North Chungcheong to the east.

The construction of the city should be completed in 2030. In the same year, all government institutions should be moved to Sejong. About 500,000 people should live there in 2030.[3]


Sejong was named in honor of King Sejong the Great, the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty and creator of the Korean alphabet, Hangul.[4] The city was formed by combining Yeongi County, the county of South Chungcheong Province from which the majority of the city's territory was ceded, and other counties.


In 2003, then-President Roh Moo-hyun sought to relocate the national capital of South Korea from the metropolitan city of Seoul to a new multifunctional administrative city in the centre of the country. The goal was to reduce the influence and dominance of Seoul on national governance and economics, whilst promoting the regional development of other areas of the country.[5] According to the former Interior Minister Maeng Hyung-gyu in 2012, "Sejong is a symbol of the country’s efforts toward more balanced regional development," helping to decongest Seoul and spur investment in the country’s central region.

In October 2004, the Constitutional Court dealt a setback to President Roh's plans, ruling that the capital must remain in Seoul in response to a complaint filed by the main opposition, the conservative Grand National Party (now Liberty Korea Party). As such, the Roh administration was forced to modify the project to relocate the majority of government ministries and institutions to Sejong, which would become a special administrative city instead of a new capital. The revised plan was approved by the National Assembly in March 2005. Challenges to the new plan were rejected by the Constitutional Court in November 2005.[5]

When the Grand National Party retook the presidential office in 2008, then-President Lee Myung-bak opposed the idea of moving government agencies, claiming that it would hurt Seoul’s global competitiveness and result in inefficiency.[5] Following Lee's directions, plans were made to make Sejong an industrial, science and education hub instead. This plan was opposed by many, including Roh’s allies and some members of the ruling Grand National Party, including Lee’s arch-rival and eventual successor, Park Geun-hye. Defeat in the mid-2010 local elections forced Lee to present his proposal to the National Assembly where it was voted down.

In July 2012, Sejong Special Autonomous City was created by combining all of Yeongi County, three townships of Gongju[6] and one township of Cheongwon County.

In April 2013, the government of Putrajaya, Malaysia signed a letter of intent (LOI) with the government of Sejong City to mark cooperation between the two cities.

As of 2014, 36 central government offices, including nine ministries, and 16 state-run organisations have moved to the city. However, many other government agencies still reside in Seoul and in government complexes in other cities.[7][needs update]

Sejong was specifically designed to be a "smart city", and is sometimes referred to as Sejong smart city. It is the leading smart city in Korea, and is often held up as the standard for other cities experimenting with the development of smart city infrastructure..[8]

By 2019, there was disagreement among experts as to whether Sejong had "lived up to expectations. ...Sejong uses its new development to market itself as an alternative to Seoul, offering luxury living at a fraction of the cost. It boasts shiny state-of-the-art condominiums, ample public green space and smart and sustainable city tech, like automated trash collection and zero-waste food disposal, electric car charging and sharing stations, solar-powered buildings, interactive digital signage, closed-circuit television security and fine dust emergency alerts. [It] has sparked criticism that the new city is not only too lackluster to draw residents away from Seoul, but also difficult to access and poorly designed."[9]


Sejong is surrounded by the two provinces of Chungcheongnam-do, and Chungcheongbuk-do, as well as the metropolitan city of Daejeon. It is about 121 kilometres (75 mi) south from Seoul.[10]


As of 2012 much of the city was under construction. The residential area, by 2012, had several high-rises built for transferees. At that time the residential area was cordoned off from much of the under-development governmental area and had some restaurants, six schools, and one grocery store.[citation needed]

Administrative divisionsEdit

The 9 haengjeong-dong and Jochiwon-eup is the city main urban center. Sejong is divided into 9 haengjeong-dong (administrative neighborhood), 1 eup (town) and 9 myeon (townships).

Map Name Hangul Hanja Population
Administrative Neighbourhoods
Hansol-dong 한솔동 한솔洞* 19,667 2.75
Saerom-dong 새롬동 새롬洞* 40,467 4.84
Dodam-dong 도담동 도담洞* 32,421 4.72
Areum-dong 아름동 아름洞* 24,251 2.19
Jongchon-dong 종촌동 宗村洞 30,291 1.15
Goun-dong 고운동 고운洞* 26,989 5.35
Boram-dong 보람동 보람洞* 15,186 1.33
Daepyeong-dong 대평동 大坪洞 2,792 1.52
Sodam-dong 소담동 소담洞* 15,868 4.43
Jochiwon-eup 조치원읍 鳥致院邑 46,008 13.56
Yeongi-myeon 연기면 燕岐面 2,822 43.93
Yeondong-myeon 연동면 燕東面 3,527 28.32
Bugang-myeon 부강면 芙江面 6,660 27.79
Geumnam-myeon 금남면 錦南面 9,473 78.70
Janggun-myeon 장군면 將軍面 6,572 53.23
Yeonseo-myeon 연서면 燕西面 8,038 54.58
Jeonui-myeon 전의면 全義面 6,655 62.44
Jeondong-myeon 전동면 全東面 3,997 57.74
Sojeong-myeon 소정면 小井面 2,949 16.47
Total 304,633 465
  • There are no Hanja for Hansol, Dodam, Areum, Goeun, Boram, Serom, or Sodam.

Population and demographicsEdit

The city aimed to have a population of 200,000 in 2012, 300,000 by 2020 and 500,000 by 2030.[11] As of 2017, Sejong had a population of 281,120.[2]

As of 2018, Sejong had a higher proportion of children compared to the South Korean average.[12]

Government and infrastructureEdit

Government Complex Sejong

The South Korean government plans to move 36 government ministries and agencies to Sejong City.[10]

Government Complex Sejong is located in Sejong City. The complex, on a 213,000-square-metre (2,290,000 sq ft) plot of land, has seven stories and one basement. Construction began in November 2011 in what was South Chungcheong Province, and the complex was completed on November 16, 2013. The ceremony to mark the movement of several government agencies to the complex occurred on December 23, 2013.[13]

Government Complex Sejong includes the head offices of:

Several MOLIT agencies, the Korea Office of Civil Aviation (KOCA), the Korean Maritime Safety Tribunal (KMST), and the Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board (ARAIB), have their headquarters in Government Complex Sejong.[18]

Educational facilitiesEdit


Senior high schools



Sejong is served by Cheongju International Airport in Cheongju, the nearest airport to Sejong.

National railwayEdit

Sejong is centrally located on Gyeongbu Line operated by Korail. It's a 90-minute journey on the Mugunghwa-ho to Seoul and trains run approximately every 30 minutes. Located just outside Jochiwon-eup limits in Osong, Cheongwon has a KTX station named Osong Station which is a Korea Train Express bullet train that frequently travels 300 km/h (190 mph). Osong station opened in 2010. There has also been some debate concerning opening another KTX station within the new Sejong City close to the bus terminal to the south.

Daejeon subway Line 1Edit

In April 2019, a feasibility study was completed and approved an extension of Daejeon Metro Line 1 from Banseok station in Daejeon, accessing the southern bus terminal in Sejong, and ending at the Government Complex Sejong. Of the five new stations that are set to open over the new 14 km of tracks, four of which will be in Sejong. Opening is tentatively set for 2029.[20]

In popular cultureEdit

The 2015 tvN television series Let's Eat 2 was based in Sejong.[21][22][23] During the month of April, various Sejong Spring Festival festivals will be held in various places in the city such as cherry blossoms, peach blossoms, and flower arrangements. Open the 7th cherry blossom festival. On the 14th, we will hold the 'Daehwangang and Ewha Rangwang Hanmadang' on the theme of peach blossoms and flower blossoms. The 2018 Peace Spring Flower Festival of the Sejong Restoration Center will be held under the sponsorship of the Jochiwon, Peach Festival Promotion Committee. It was prepared as a five-sensory satisfaction program to enjoy and enjoy nature such as peach flower, pear flower, rape blossom, and to escape from the performance-oriented festival method.[24]


  1. ^ a b 세종특별자치시청. 한눈에보는 세종 >.
  2. ^ a b Toponymic Guidelines for Map and Other Editors For International Use Republic of Korea, Second Edition, p. 39.
  3. ^ "Mini-capital Sejong City opens". koreatimes. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  4. ^ "S Korea chooses new capital site". 2004-08-11. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  5. ^ a b c "Sejong City to open Sunday". Korea Herald. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Sejong City to Become Biz Hub, Not Gov't District".
  7. ^ The hub of government admistration of the Republic of Korea The Government Complex Sejong. Ministry of the Interior and Safety
  8. ^ Leem, Yountaik; Han, Hoon; Lee, Sang Ho. "2. Sejong Smart City: On the Road to Be a City of the Future". In Geertman, Stan; Zhan, Qingming; Allan, Andrew; Pettit, Christopher (eds.). Computational Urban Planning and Management for Smart Cities. Springer International Publishing. ISBN 978-3-030-19424-6. Retrieved 2019-07-03. the background of Korean smart cities and contents of the Sejong Smart City are presented in terms of viewpoint of industry-mix, infrastructure, technology and services, followed by discussion on the future of the smart city .
  9. ^ Babe, Ann (4 June 2019). "South Korea's Master-Planned City Draws Criticism". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  10. ^ a b Harlan, Chico (Contributing: Yoonjung Seo) "With new Sejong City, South Korean government aims to rebalance power." Washington Post. August 17, 2012. Retrieved on December 31, 2013. "But critics — including President Lee Myung-bak, who did not attend a recent launch ceremony here — say it’s crazy to set parts of the administration 75 miles apart."
  11. ^ Rahn, Kim. "Mini-capital Sejong City opens". The Korea Times. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  12. ^ Steger, Isabella; Sookyoung Lee (2018-06-19). "A new capital built from scratch is an unlikely utopia for Korean families". Quartz. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  13. ^ "Korea's new administrative center: Sejong City." (Archive) Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS, 해외문화홍보원). Retrieved on December 31, 2013.
  14. ^ "Location." (Archive) Ministry of Education (South Korea). Retrieved on January 1, 2014. "Address : (339-012) 408 Galmae-ro, Sejong, Republic of Korea"
  15. ^ "Location Archived 2013-12-31 at WebCite." (Archive) Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Retrieved on December 31, 2013. "Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, 94 Dasom2-ro, Government Complex-Sejong, Sejong-si 339-012, Republic of Korea"
  16. ^ "Home" (English). Ministry of Environment. Retrieved on December 31, 2013. "Government Complex Sejong, 11, Doum6-Ro Sejong-City, 339-012, Republic of Korea"
  17. ^ "Home." Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. Retrieved on 2 January 2014. "(우)339-012 세종특별자치시 다솜2로 94 정부세종청사 5동 해양수산부"
  18. ^ "Government Buildings Management Office". Government Buildings Management Office.
  19. ^ "Location." (Archive) Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Retrieved on January 1, 2014. "Adress [sic] : 402 Hannuri-daero, Sejong-si, 339-012, Republic of Korea"
  20. ^ 박, 희윤 (18 April 2019). "대전~세종 광역철도 건설…2029년 완공목표: 반석~정부세종청사 14㎞ 연결…2029년 완공목표, 국가철도망계획 반영 추진". 서울경제 (in Korean). Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  21. ^ Kwon, Ji-youn (20 April 2015). "Let's Eat actors playing just the right roles". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  22. ^ Lee, Min-ji (10 February 2015). "B2ST's Yoon Du Jun, Seo Hyun Jin, and More Begin Script Reading for Let's Eat 2". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
  23. ^ Hong, Soo Jung (23 January 2015). "Let′s Eat 2 Confirms Cast with B2ST′s Yoon Du Jun, Seo Hyun Jin and More". eNewsWorld. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  24. ^ 충청일보. 세종시 다양한 봄꽃축제.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 36°29′13″N 127°16′56″E / 36.487002°N 127.282234°E / 36.487002; 127.282234