Dong (administrative division)

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Revised Romanization dong
McCune–Reischauer tong
Administrative neighborhood
Hangul 행정동
Hanja 行政洞
Revised Romanization haengjeongdong
McCune–Reischauer haengchŏngtong
Legal-status neighborhood
Hangul 법정동
Hanja 法定洞
Revised Romanization beopjeongdong
McCune–Reischauer pŏpchŏngtong

A dong or neighborhood is a submunicipal level administrative unit of a city[1] and of those cities which are not divided into wards throughout Korea. The unit is often translated as neighborhood and has been used in both administrative divisions of North Korea[2] and South Korea.[3][4]

In South Korea[edit]

A dong is the smallest level of urban government to have its own office and staff in South Korea. There are two types of dong: legal-status neighborhood (법정동) and administrative neighborhood (행정동). In some cases, a single legal-status neighborhood is divided into several administrative neighborhoods. In such cases, each administrative dong has its own office and staff.[5][6][7] Administrative dongs are usually distinguished from one another by number (as in the case of Myeongjang 1-dong and Myeongjang 2-dong).

The primary division of a dong is the tong (통/), but divisions at this level and below are seldom used in daily life. Some dong are subdivided into ga (가/), which are not a separate level of government but only exist for use in addresses. Many major thoroughfares in Seoul, Suwon, and other cities are also subdivided into ga. Basically ga stands for a historical reason: in Korea under Japanese rule, some districts living Japanese are subdivided as machi (, まち) and after Independence of Korea, these machi are renamed as ga.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Korea annual, Volume 1991 (37 ed.). Yonhap News Agency. 2000. p. 126. ISBN 89-7433-051-2. 
  2. ^ Hunter, (1999) p.154
  3. ^ Nelson, (2000), p.30
  4. ^ No, (1993), p.208
  5. ^ 동 洞 [Dong] (in Korean). Nate / Encyclopedia of Korean Culture. Archived from the original on 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  6. ^ 동 洞 [Dong] (in Korean). Nate / Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  7. ^ 행정동 行政洞 [Haengjeong-dong (trans. Administrative dong)] (in Korean). Doosan Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 


  • Hunter, Helen-Louise. (1999), Kim Il-sŏng's North Korea, Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 0275962962
  • Nelson, Laura C. (2000) Measured excess: status, gender, and consumer nationalism in South Korea, Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-11616-0
  • Yusuf, Shahid; Evenett, Simon J., Wu, Weiping. (2001) Facets of globalization: international and local dimensions of development World Bank Publications, pp. 226–227 ISBN 0-8213-4742-X
  • No, Chŏng-hyŏn (1993) Public administration and the Korean transformation: concepts, policies, and value conflicts, Kumarian Press, ISBN 1-56549-022-3