Sejong City

Coordinates: 36°29′13″N 127°16′56″E / 36.487002°N 127.282234°E / 36.487002; 127.282234
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Sejong Special Self-Governing City
 • Korean세종특별
 • Hanja特別
 • Revised RomanizationSejong Teukbyeol-jachisi
 • McCune-ReischauerSejong T’ŭkpyŏl-chach’isi
Hannuridaero and Bangchukcheon.jpg
Flag of Sejong
Official logo of Sejong
CountryRepublic of Korea
First settled2012
 • TypeMayor–Council
 • MayorChoi Min-ho (People Power)
 • BodySejong City Council
 • Total465.23 km2 (179.63 sq mi)
 (October 2020)
 • Total351,007[1]
 • Dialect
Time zoneUTC+9 (Korea Standard Time)
Area code+82-44
WebsiteOfficial website (English)
Construction site in Sejong, November 2009

Sejong (Korean: [ˈsʰe̞ːd͡ʑoŋ] (listen); Korean세종; Hanja世宗), officially the Sejong Special Self-Governing City[2] (세종특별자치시; 世宗特別自治市), is a special self-governing city and the de facto administrative capital of South Korea.

Sejong was founded in 2007 as the new planned capital of South Korea from many parts of the South Chungcheong province and some parts of North Chungcheong province 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, primarily Seoul, where the National Assembly and many important government bodies remain.

Sejong has a population of 351,007 as of 2020 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 is expected to be completed in 2030, at which time 500,000 people are expected to live there.[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

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.


Cityscape of Hansol-dong, Sejong, 2015

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 center 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. 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 Self-Governing City was created by combining all of Yeongi County, three townships of Gongju[6] and one township of Cheongwon County.

In April 2013, the city government of Putrajaya, Malaysia signed a letter of intent (LOI) with the government of Sejong City to mark cooperation between the two planned capitals.[7][8]

As of 2019, 12 ministries were relocated to the city.[9] As such, only 5 ministries continue to remain in Seoul; the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Unification, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of National Defense, and Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.[10]

Haknaraegyo Bridge, 2016

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.[11]

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."[12]


Sejong is surrounded by the two provinces of South and North Chungcheong, as well as the metropolitan city of Daejeon. It is about 121 kilometres (75 mi) south from Seoul.[13]


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]


Sejong City has a humid continental climate (Köppen: Dwa), but can be considered a borderline humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cwa) using the −3 °C (27 °F) isotherm.

Climate data for Yeonseo-myeon, Sejong City (1991–2020 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 3.8
Daily mean °C (°F) −2.7
Average low °C (°F) −7.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 22.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 5.2 5.0 6.3 7.0 6.9 7.7 13.2 12.7 7.8 5.2 7.3 6.0 90.3
Source: Korea Meteorological Administration[14]

Administrative divisions[edit]

The 10 haengjeong-dong and Jochiwon-eup is the city main urban center. Sejong is divided into 12 haengjeong-dong (administrative neighborhood), 1 eup (town) and 9 myeon (townships).

Sejong City Hall
Handuri Bridge
Map Name Hangul Hanja Population
Administrative Neighbourhoods
Hansol-dong 한솔동 한솔洞* 19,385 2.75
Saerom-dong 새롬동 새롬洞* 29,498 4.84
Dodam-dong 도담동 도담洞* 36,571 4.72
Areum-dong 아름동 아름洞* 23,742 2.19
Jongchon-dong 종촌동 宗村洞 29,725 1.15
Goun-dong 고운동 고운洞* 34,476 5.35
Boram-dong 보람동 보람洞* 19,513 1.33
Daepyeong-dong 대평동 大坪洞 10,940 1.52
Sodam-dong 소담동 소담洞* 31,253 4.43
Dajeong-dong 다정동 다정洞*
Haemil-dong 해밀동 해밀洞*
Bangok-dong 반곡동 盤谷洞
Jochiwon-eup 조치원읍 鳥致院邑 43,086 13.56
Yeongi-myeon 연기면 燕岐面 2,672 43.93
Yeondong-myeon 연동면 燕東面 3,151 28.32
Bugang-myeon 부강면 芙江面 6,191 27.79
Geumnam-myeon 금남면 錦南面 8,779 78.70
Janggun-myeon 장군면 將軍面 6,639 53.23
Yeonseo-myeon 연서면 燕西面 7,485 54.58
Jeonui-myeon 전의면 全義面 5,687 62.44
Jeondong-myeon 전동면 全東面 3,624 57.74
Sojeong-myeon 소정면 小井面 2,454 16.47
Total 351,007 465
Sejong BRT Viaduct
Sejong Lake Park
  • There are no Hanja for Hansol, Dodam, Areum, Goun, Boram, Serom, Sodam, Dajeong, or Haemil as they are native Korean words.

Population and demographics[edit]

The city aimed to have a population of 200,000 in 2012, 300,000 by 2020 and 500,000 by 2030.[15] In 2017, it had a population of 281,120.[16] As of 30 June 2020, Sejong had a population of 351,007.[17]

As of 2018, Sejong had a higher proportion of children than the South Korean average.[18]

Religion in Sejong (2015)[19]

  Not religious (57.8%)
  Protestantism (19.9%)
  Buddhism (13.9%)
  Catholicism (7.9%)
  Other (0.5%)
Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1980 97,357—    
1990 90,502−0.73%
2000 80,031−1.22%
2010 81,447+0.18%
2015 204,088+20.17%
2020 353,933+11.64%
Source: Citypopulation[20]


The census from 2015 indicated that the majority of Sejong residents did not belong to any particular religion. Protestantism was the most common religion with around 19.9% of the population being adherents, followed by Buddhism at 13.9% and Roman Catholicism at 7.9%.

Government buildings[edit]

View of the Government Complex Sejong
Government Complex Sejong Main Entrance
Office of Government Policy Coordination South Korea

The South Korean government plans to move 36 government ministries and agencies to Sejong City.[13] 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.[21]

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.[26]


Sejong National Library
Sejong Academy of Science and Arts

Sejong Lake Park was completed in March 2013 and has various theme facilities in the park, including the square fountain. The size is 705,768m2 and the lake area is 322,800m2.[27]

The National Sejong Arboretum is the first urban arboretum in Korea and the largest indoor arboretum in Korea. There are 1.72 million plants of 2834 species available. There is an admission fee of 5,000 won for adults.[28]


Sejong City Office of Education
Sejong City Office of Education


Senior High Schools[edit]

All schools are public schools.[30]

Middle schools[edit]

Sejong City Office of Education Logo
Sejong City Office of Education Logo

All schools are public schools.[31]

  • Areum Middle School
  • Bugang Middle School
  • Chochiwon Middle School
  • Chochiwon Girls' Middle School
  • Dajeong Middle School
  • Duru Middle School
  • Cho Darm Middle School
  • Dodam Middle School
  • Duru Middle School
  • Eojin Middle School
  • Geonui Middle School
  • Geumho Middle School
  • Gowoon Middle School
  • Hansol Middle School
  • Jangki Middle School
  • Jiu Middle School
  • Jongchon Middle School
  • Saerom Middle School
  • Saetteum Middle School
  • Saeum Middle School
  • Suhyun Middle School
  • Yangji Middle School
  • Yeondong Middle School
  • Yeonseo Middle School

Elementary schools[edit]

All schools are public schools.[32]

  • Bangok Elementary School
  • Boram Elementary School
  • Bugang Elementary School
  • Chamsam Elementary School
  • Chochiwon Daedong Elementary School
  • Chochiwon Kyodong Elementary School
  • Chochiwon Myeongdong Elementary School
  • Chochiwon Shinbong Elementary School
  • Geonui Elementary School
  • Hangyeol Elementary School
  • Hansol Elementary School
  • Jangki Elementary School
  • Jeondong Elementary School
  • Jeonui Elementary School
  • Kamsung Elementary School
  • Keumnam Elementary School
  • Sojeong Elementary School
  • Solbit Elementary School
  • Soowang Elementary School
  • Ssangryu Elementary School
  • Uirang Elementary School
  • Yeonbong Elementary School
  • Yeondong Elementary School
  • Yeongidowon Elementary School
  • Yeonnam Elementary School
  • Yeonseo Elementary school
  • Yeoul Elementary School


Jochiwon Station


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

National railway[edit]

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.

Sejong Lake Park

Daejeon subway Line 1[edit]

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.[33]

In popular culture[edit]

The 2015 tvN television series Let's Eat 2 was based in Sejong.[34][35][36] During the month of April, various Sejong Spring Festival celebrations were held throughout the city such as those celebrating cherry blossoms, peach blossoms, and flower arrangements. The 2018 Peace Spring Flower Festival of the Sejong Restoration Center was held under the sponsorship of the Jochiwon, Peach Festival Promotion Committee. It was prepared as a five-sensory satisfaction program to enjoy parts of nature such as peach flower, pear flower, rape blossom, and to avoid becoming a performance-oriented festival.[37]



  1. ^ a b 세종특별자치시청. 한눈에보는 세종 >.
  2. ^ "Organization > Sejong City Hall > Happy City Sejong >". Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  3. ^ "Mini-capital Sejong City opens". koreatimes. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
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  6. ^ "Sejong City to Become Biz Hub, Not Gov't District".
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  11. ^ Leem, Yountaik; Han, Hoon; Lee, Sang Ho (9 May 2019). "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 .
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  13. ^ 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."
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  16. ^ Toponymic Guidelines for Map and Other Editors For International Use Republic of Korea, Second Edition, p. 39.
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  23. ^ "Location Archived 2014-01-01 at the Wayback Machine." (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"
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  25. ^ "Home." Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. Retrieved on 2 January 2014. "(우)339-012 세종특별자치시 다솜2로 94 정부세종청사 5동 해양수산부"
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  29. ^ This university is different from Korea University above.
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  33. ^ 박, 희윤 (18 April 2019). "대전~세종 광역철도 건설...2029년 완공목표: 반석~정부세종청사 14km 연결...2029년 완공목표, 국가철도망계획 반영 추진". 서울경제 (in Korean). Retrieved 25 April 2019.
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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