Dong (administrative division)

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

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


  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. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  6. 동 洞 [Dong] (in Korean). Nate / Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  7. 행정동 行政洞 [Haengjeong-dong (trans. Administrative dong)] (in Korean). Doosan Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-09-06.


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