|Short Name||Gaeseong (Kaesŏng;|
|Population||145,000 (est. circa 2000)|
|Government||City in North Hwanghae; former Directly Governed City|
|Split from||Gyeonggi-do, 1951|
|Joined||North Hwanghae, 2003|
(Note: Map shows boundaries of former Kaesŏng Directly Governed City)
Kaesŏng (Gaeseong) is a city in North Hwanghae Province, North Korea (DPRK), a former Directly Governed City, and the capital of Korea during the Koryo Dynasty. The city is near Kaesŏng Industrial Region and it contains the remains of the Manwoldae palace.
When Yi Songgye overthrew the Koryo 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-do 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).
Before 2002, Kaesŏng Directly Governed City was divided into one city (Kaesŏng itself) and three counties.
- Kaesŏng-shi (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 Hwanghaebuk-do in 2002.
It was formally named Songdo while it was the ancient capital of Koryo. It prospered as a trade center that produced Korean ginseng, which is famous internationally. It is now the DPRK's light industry centre.
The city is close to the Demilitarized Zone that divides North and South Korea. When Korea was partitioned at the 38th parallel after World War Two, Kaesong was on the southern side of the line (within South Korea). Thus Kaesong is (depending on perspective) either the only occupied South Korean City at the end of the 'Korean Police Action', or the only city liberated by the North Korean People's Army in the 'Great Fatherland Liberation War'.
Located in central Korea, along with Gyeonggi-do, Hwanghaebuk-do, Hwanghaenam-do and Gangwon-do. Kanghwa Island of [[Incheon] lies just south, beyond a narrow channel. It covers an area of 1,309 km², the urban district is surrounded by Mountain Songak (489m) and Mountain Pongmyong.
Kaesŏng is connected to Pyongyang and other cities by rail, highways and a dual purpose military and civilian air station.
Koryo Songgyungwan University (Light Industry), Communist University and Art College are located in Kaesŏng. 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 vestiges 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.
Coordinates: 37°58´N 126°33´E