Lighthouses of South Korea: Sokcho Area (Northern Gangwon)

For most of its history, Korea was an independent kingdom, or at least an autonomous kingdom under Chinese influence. This came to an end in 1910, when Japan annexed all of Korea. At the end of World War II in 1945, the 38° parallel was established as the dividing line between U.S. and Soviet zones of occupation, and in 1948 separate civil administrations were established in the two halves of the country. The Korean War (1950-53) ended in a draw, with the armistice line falling close to the prewar 38° line. The Republic of Korea (ROK), commonly called South Korea, occupies the Korean peninsula south of the armistice line.

This page covers lighthouses of the northern part of South Korea's east coast in the province of Gangwon (Gangwon-do), including the counties of Goseong and Yangyang and the city of Sokcho. This coast faces the East Sea (commonly called the Sea of Japan in the West). Most of it is rugged and scenic, but there are some sandy beaches between the headlands. Although there are some famous and historic lighthouses on this coast, many of the more modern lights are not well known.

Following several recent government reorganizations, navigational aids in the ROK are now regulated by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MOMAF). Management of lighthouses in Gangwon is the responsibility of the Donghae Regional Maritime Affairs and Port Office, with branch offices in the ports of Mukho, Sokcho, and Samcheok. The Korean Hydrographic and Oceanographic Administration (KHOA) publishes notices to mariners.

In Korean, the word for a lighthouse is donghae (등대); dan is a cape, do is an island, and hang is a harbor .

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume M of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Port of Donghae Navigation Aids Office
Information on major lighthouses of Gangwon Province.
KAAN Major Lighthouse Information
KAAN is the Korean Association of Aids to Navigation. Click on the map for information concerning each province, and then scroll down for small photos. All the data is in Korean. An English version of the page has the names of the lighthouses, but no photos.

Daejin Light
Daejin Light, Daejin, September 2011
Naver.com Creative Commons photo by DesignTomorrow

Goseong County Lighthouses
Note: Goseong County was split by the armistice line, so North Korea has a county of the same name on the other side of the Demilitarized Zone.
Jeojin (Chojin) Dan Range Front
1991(?). Active; focal plane 62 m (203 ft); continuous white light. 35 m (115 ft) square concrete tower, painted red and white. Fog horn (4 blasts every 60 s). A Coast Guard photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. This range marks the edge of the maritime exclusion zone adjoining the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas. These lights are easily confused with the lighthouse at Geojin-ri (see below). Jeojin Dan is a cape about 8 km (5 mi) south of the armistice line. Located on the cape, accessible by road; parking provided. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SKR-004; Admiralty M4460; NGA 16365.
Jeojin (Chojin) Dan Range Rear
1991(?). Active; focal plane 115 m (377 ft); continuous white light. 20 m (66 ft) square concrete skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery red. The tower is in the distance in the photo at right, the Donghae MOMAF office has a small photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located about 1 km (0.6 mi) due west of the front light. Site status unknown. ARLHS SKR-005; Admiralty M4460.1; NGA 16365.1.
*** Daejin (Taejin) (2)
1991 (station established 1973). Active; focal plane 61 m (200 ft); white flash every 12 s. 31 m (102 ft) octagonal white concrete tower with lantern, gallery, and an observation room surrounding the tower about 2/3 of the way up, rising from the center of a 1-story octagonal administration building. A photo is at the top of this page, another photo and a closeup are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on heights above the base of the north breakwater of Daejin harbor. Site and tower open. ARLHS SKR-037; Admiralty M4459.9; NGA 16369.

Jeojin Dan Range Lights
Korean Coast Guard photo
* Daejin North Breakwater (2)
2010 (station establishment date unknown). Apparently removed late in 2008; previously focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) vase-shaped concrete tower, painted red. A photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse, seen in a 2001 photo and a photo showing both Daejin breakwater lights, was apparently removed in 2007-08, probably due to storm damage. A 2008 photo shows no tower at all on the breakwater. Located at the end of the north breakwater of Daejin. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4459.75; NGA 16374.
* Daejin South Breakwater (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. Kwon YongGu has a photo, a 2007 photo shows both breakwater lights, and Google has a satellite view. NGA lists a square steel tower on the breakwater. Located at the end of the north breakwater of Daejin. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4459.7; NGA 16376.
#Geojin-ri (Kojin-ni) (1) (?)
1965. Inactive since 2008. 12 m (39 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A photo, another photo, and a fine closeup are available. This lighthouse has been replaced, and apparently it has been demolished (no photos showing both lighthouses have been found). Located on a promontory about 5 km (3 mi) south of Daejin. Site open, tower closed.
* Geojin-ri (Kojin-ni) (2)
2008 (station established 1965). Active; focal plane 90 m (295 ft); flash every 16 s, alternately red and white. 13 m (42 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A good photo is available, and Bing has a fuzzy satellite view. The area surrounding the lighthouse is a park, the Geojin Lighthouse Sports Park. Located on a promontory about 5 km (3 mi) south of Daejin. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SKR-013; Admiralty M4459.5; NGA 16388.
Daejin North Breakwater Light
Daejin North Breakwater Light, Daejin, September 2011
Naver.com Creative Commons photo by DesignTomorrow
Geojin-ri East Breakwater (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); red flash every 4 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) octagonal cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted red. A photo is available, a second photo shows both breakwater lights, Kim Chaan has a photo of the light in action, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of Geojin-ri. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4459.6; NGA 16392.
Geojin-ri West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower, painted white. A photo shows both breakwater lights, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Located at the end of the west breakwater of Geojin-ri. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4459.54; NGA 16396.
* Gonghyeonjin Hang East Breakwater (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted red. A photo and a second photo show both breakwater lights, and Bing has a satellite view. The previous light, described as a "red post,"was only 6 m (20 ft) in height. Located on the end of the east breakwater at Gonghyeonjin. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4459.43; NGA 16377.
* Gonghyeonjin Hang West Breakwater (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. A photo and a second photo show both breakwater lights, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the end of the west breakwater at Gonghyeonjin. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4459.44.
Oho Ri
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located atop a promontory sheltering Oho-ri harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4459.3; NGA 16378.
Oho Hang East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted red. A distant photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the end of the east breakwater at Oho-ri. Site status unknown. KR-1211; Admiralty M4459.4; NGA 16379.
Munam Hang North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted red. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the north (main) breakwater of Munam harbor, about 25 km (15 mi) southeast of Daejin. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4459.2; NGA 16386.
Munam Hang South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; light characteristic unknown. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. Claus Højbak has a photo (click on the photo for a better view), and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the east quay at Munam harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4459.25; NGA 16386.1.
* Ayajin (Ayajin-ni)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) round concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a hillside above the foot of the north breakwater at Ayajin. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SKR-030; Admiralty M4459; NGA 16380.
* Ayajin North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); red flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted red. Photos are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the north (main) breakwater at Ayajin, about 8 km (5 mi) north of Sokcho. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SKR-032; Admiralty M4459.1; NGA 16384.
* Ayajin South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. Photos are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the south breakwater at Ayajin. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SKR-032; Admiralty M4459.15; NGA 16385.

Sokcho City Lighthouses
Sajin-ri South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. The north breakwater is marked by a red skeletal tower. Located on the south breakwater at Sajin-ri, a fishing harbor on the north side of Sokcho. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4458.64; NGA 16397.
*** Sokcho (2)
2006(?) (station established 1957). Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); four white flashes every 45 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower rising from a circular 1-story building; an observation deck has been built atop the keeper's house. Entire lighthouse painted white. Fog horn (one 5 s blast every 45 s). Dae-Won Kim's photo is at right, there is a closeup, a view from the harbor is available, and Bing has a satellite view. A closeup photo of the original lighthouse is available. Apparently the new lighthouse was built during 2005 (there are several references to the light being closed that year). The light station includes a popular museum of navigational aids. Located atop a steep hill just north of the harbor of Sokcho. Site open, museum and observation deck apparently open daily. ARLHS SKR-025; Admiralty M4458; NGA 16404.
Sokcho Light
Sokcho Light and Observatory, Sokcho, November 2007
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Dae-Won Kim
Sokcho East
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); quick-flashing white light. 20 m (66 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with a round equipment structure at the top. Lower half of the tower painted yellow, upper half black. Dong Chun has a distant view (looking past the north breakwater lighthouse), and Google has a satellite view. Located about 800 m (1/2 mi) east northeast of the north breakwater lighthouse (next entry). Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4458.1; NGA 16406.
* Sokcho North Breakwater (2)
2009 (station establishment date unknown). Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); red flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) tapered round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. Richard Skipp's photo is at right, a January 2011 closeup is available, and Bing has a satellite view. There's also a photo of the original light. Located at the end of the north (outer) breakwater of Sokcho. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. KR-1217.8; Admiralty M4458.3; NGA 16408.
* Sokcho Northwest Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green flash every 4 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. John Epergesi has a photo, a closeup is available, and Bing has a satellite view. The northwest breakwater is really the original south breakwater, now an inner breakwater of the harbor. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4458.6; NGA 16412.
* Sokcho South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) tapered round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. This is the more distant white light on the left of a panoramic view, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater of Sokcho. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4458.4; NGA 16409.5
Jodo (Cho Do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); white flash every 6 s. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. Jinho Jung has a photo, Mill Lubis has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located atop a small island just southeast of the entrance to Sokcho harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4458.2; NGA 16414.
Sokcho North Breakwater Light
Sokcho North Breakwater Light, Sokcho, February 2010
Flickr photo copyright Richard Skipp; used by permission
Jodo Approach East
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); six quick white flashes followed by one long white flash, every 45s. 22 m (72 ft) beacon mounted on a square platform supported by four large piles. Lower half of the lighthouse painted black, upper half yellow. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located about 1 km (0.6 mi) east of the Jodo lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4458.15; NGA 16416.
Jodo Approach West
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two green flashes every 10 s. 14 m (46 ft) round 2-stage concrete tower, painted green. The listed tower height of 25 m (82 ft) is clearly too high. Jinho Jung has a photo, Mill Lubis has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located about 500 m (0.3 mi) southeast of Jodo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4458.18; NGA 16418.
* Daepo (Taep'o) Hang East Breakwater (2)
2009. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); red flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. Kim Jung-Youl has a 2012 photo, and Bing has a satellite view. The Daepo harbor was expanded considerably in 2008-09, and both breakwaters are new. Martin Chan has a photo of the earlier lighthouse, and Jinho Jung has another photo. Located on the east (main) breakwater at Daepo harbor, on the south side of Sokcho. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. KR-1221.10; Admiralty M4457.3; NGA 16420.
* Daepo Hang West Breakwater
2009. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); green flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the west breakwater at Daepo harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. KR-1221.11; Admiralty M4457.2.
* Seorak Hang
2011. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); red flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) octagonal cylindrical concrete tower, painted red. No photo available, and the tower is too new to appear in Bing's satellite view. Located on the main breakwater at Seorak harbor, a short distance south of the Daepo harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. KR-1221.12; Admiralty M4457.

Yangyang County Lighthouses
* Mulchi Hang North Breakwater (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) round mushroom-shaped concrete tower, painted red. A photo is at right, a view along the breakwater and a photo of both lighthouses are available, Younggi Lee also has a photo of the two lighthouses, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the north breakwater of Mulchi harbor, about 7 km (4 mi) south of Sokcho. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4456.93; NGA 16422.
* Mulchi Hang South Breakwater (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) round mushroom-shaped concrete tower, painted red. A photo is at right, a photo of both lighthouses is available, Younggi Lee also has a photo of the two lighthouses, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the south breakwater of Mulchi harbor, about 7 km (4 mi) south of Sokcho. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4456.9; NGA 16421.
Susan Dan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 73 m (240 ft); white flash every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a hilltop north of Susan harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4456.5; NGA 16424.
Mulchi Hang Lights
Mulchi Hang Breakwater Lights, Yangyang, October 2008
Yangyang County photo (no longer online)
* Susan Dan North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); red flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted red. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the north breakwater of Susan harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4456.55.
* Susan Dan North Breakwater Spur
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); two red flashes every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted red. The light is on the left of Yoon Heehong's photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of a north-south spur attached to the north breakwater of Susan harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4456.555.
* Susan Dan South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. The light is on the right of Yoon Heehong's photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater of Susan harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4456.56.
*** Gisamun Dan (Hajodae Beach)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted white. Seongbin Im has a closeup photo, another photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a promontory about 8 km (5 mi) southeast of Susan harbor. Site open, tower reported open daily. Admiralty M4456; NGA 16428.
* Gisamun Hang (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); red flash every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower. Lighthouse painted beige; the round mushroom top is painted red. A photo is at right, another photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the breakwater of the small harbor sheltered by the cape of Gisamun Dan. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4456.2; NGA 16429.

Gisamun Hang Light, Hajodae
Yangyang Tourist Bureau photo

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: North Korea | South: Gangneung Area

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Posted October 29, 2007. Checked and revised February 11, 2014. Lighthouses: 38. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.