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LifestyleGuide for Expats
New Korean address systemA new address system for 2014 is compulsory across the country
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승인 2013.12.26  15:22:50
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▲ When searching in Google Maps both systems are still recognized, as seen above.

Supposedly simpler and clearer, the new address system based on street names and house numbers will be compulsory from Dec. 31, 2013. It had been used alongside the old system since 2011.

The differences

The biggest change is the removal of “beonji,” the city block number. This is replaced by the street name and house number, reflecting systems interna-tionally.

Korean streets typically end in -gil for smaller streets and -ro/-no/-lo for larger thoroughfares. (Note: The pronunciation and romanization depends on the sound preceding.)

While the new system continues to place the largest administrative unit first, the village name (“dong” or “ri”) is added in parenthesis at the end, as in the Samyang address below. There is one exception: When the road name incorporates that of the village, the "dong" or "ri" is omitted, such as in Yeondong below.

Old system: Jeju City, Samyang 2-dong, 2140-11

New system: Jeju City, Wondangno 1 (Samyang 2-dong)

Or:

Old system: Jeju City, Yeondong, 266-beonji

New system: Jeju City, Yeondong 4-gil, 29


The history

According to Ministry of Security and Public Administration, the Japanese Government-General of Korea carried out a nationwide survey of land owner-ship in Dec. 1918 and assigned all land a number. As part of the institutional colonization of Korea, Koreans were forced to use the address system on their family registers.

The system was confusing. The numbers given to land related to the order in which it was surveyed, rather than location. The new street name and house number system should be easier for residents.


The concerns

There are worries that in this reclas-sification of the complicated layouts of towns and villages, traditional names may be lost. Many streets in Korea are currently small and nameless, leading to further confusion. The government states that in such instances, communities can make formal name-change requests.


The exception

Real estate registry. When people sign real estate or housing lease contracts, the old address must be used alongside the new one.


The website

Visit the Public Administration Min-istry’s website to find out your address: juso.go.kr/openIndexPage.do

When searching in Google Maps both systems are still recognized, as seen above.

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