Lighthouses of South Korea: North Jeolla (Gunsan Area)

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 Jeollabuk Province, located on South Korea's southwest coast in the region formerly known as Jeolla or Cholla. Today this part of Korea includes two provinces, Jeollanam (South Jeolla) and Jeollabuk (North Jeolla). The coast of Jeollabuk faces west on the Yellow Sea. It is an intricate and rocky coast, with numerous islands of all sizes offshore. Although there are several famous and historic lighthouses on this coast, most of the more modern lights are not well known.

Navigational aids in the ROK are regulated by the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs (MLTM). In Jeollabuk, the lights are maintained by the Port of Gunsan. 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
Lighthouse Photos
Photos posted by the Gunsan MLTM office.
Kiso's Lighthouses - Korea
Photos posted by a Japanese lighthouse fan.
Korean Association of Aids to Navigation - Jeollabuk
Photos and limited information for two of the provinces's most famous lighthouses.

Ochongdo Light
Eucheongdo (Ochongdo) Light
Korean Association of Aids to Navigation photo

Buan County Lighthouses

Wido District Lighthouses
Note: Wido is an island about 15 km (9 mi) off the coast near Gyeokpo. Part of Buan County, the island is a well known resort area readily accessible by ferry.
Sangwangdeungdo (Sangwangdung Do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 174 m (571 ft); white flash every 5 s. 5 m (17 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Bing has a distant satellite view that probably shows the light. Located on an isolated high island (one of two) in the Yellow Sea about 15 km (9 mi) west northwest of Wido. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4206.6; NGA 17744.
* Taeri Hang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 6 s. 9 m (30 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater at Taeri, a small port near the southwestern tip of Wido. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. NGA 17727.5.
* Wido
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower, mounted on a square concrete base. M.C. Han's photo is at right, MLTM has a photo (last photo in third row), and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located at the southwestern tip of Wido. Probably accessible by a short hike. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4206.955; NGA 17727.6.
Koryundo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 6 s. 14 m (46 ft) square cylindrical white concrete tower. No photo available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on an islet off the western tip of Wido. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17726.
Pejamyeo (Pejamyo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available, but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a rock about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) off the western end of Wido. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4207.5; NGA 17726.5.
Galmaeyeo (Kalmaeyo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 17 m (56 ft) tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available, and the tower is too new to appear in Bing's satellite view. Located on a rock about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) northeast of the Pejamyo beacon. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4207.7; NGA 17727.
Wido Light
Wido Light, September 2009
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by M.C. Han
* Pajanggeum Hang West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is red. M.C. Han's photo is at right, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the west breakwater of Pajanggeum, the port at the northern end of Wido. Accessible by walking the pier. NGA 17729.
* Pajanggeum Hang East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. No photo available, but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of Pajanggeum. Accessible by walking the pier. Admiralty M4207.89.
Heukseo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 6 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. MLTM has a photo (third photo in third row), and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a rocky reef about 5 km (3 mi) east of Pajanggeum. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4207.3; NGA 17731.
Changunso
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 14 m (46 ft) tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a rock about halfway between Wido and the mainland and 6 km (3.5 mi) west southwest of Tongpo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4207.4; NGA 17732.
Pajanggeum Hang West Breakwater Light
Pajanggeum Hang West Breakwater Light, September 2009
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by M.C. Han

Jinseo District Lighthouse
Chulpa Hang (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 10 s. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical red concrete tower. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. NGA lists a skeletal tower for this light. Located just off Chulpa harbor, on the south side of the Byeonsan Peninsula. Accessible only by boat, but easy to see from shore. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4207.7; NGA 17740.

Byeonsan District Lighthouses
* Gyeokpo (Kyongpo) South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); red flash every 7 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical red concrete tower. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Gyeokpo is a small port at the end of the Byeonsan Peninsula. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4207.6; NGA 17738.
* Gyeokpo (Kyongpo) North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); green flash every 7 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical red concrete tower. M.C. Han's photo is at right, a closeup photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4207.65; NGA 17737.
Gogunsan Gundo (Kokunsan Kundo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available, but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a rock about 5 km (3 mi) west northwest of Gyeokpo, in the northern entrance to the strait between Wido and the mainland. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17733.
Gyeokpo North Breakwater Light
Gyeokpo North Breakwater Light, September 2009
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by M.C. Han

Gunsan City Lighthouses

Okdo District Lighthouses
Note: The Okdo District includes islands to the west and southwest of Gunsan. In particular, the Okdo Islands are summits along a ridge extending east to west and ending at Maldo.
Biando (Pian-do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Biando is an inhabited island about 12 km (7.5 mi) northwest of the Byeonsan coastline. Located on a skerry off the southern tip of Biando. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4206.85; NGA 17746.5.
Golseo
2002. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 22 m (72 ft) round concrete tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef about 12 km (7.5 mi) southeast of Maldo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4206.32; NGA 17753.
Heukdo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) round concrete tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available, but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a reef about 1 km (0.6 mi) west of the Golseo beacon. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. M4206.33; NGA 17753.1.
Maldo East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); red flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is red. Bing has a satellite view. Located on the short east breakwater of Maldo. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4206.15; NGA 17749.5.
Maldo West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); green flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. Bing has a satellite view. Located on the west breakwater of Maldo. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4206.1; NGA 17749.
* Maldo (3)
2007 (station established 1909). Active; focal plane 57 m (187 ft); white flash every 10 s. 26 m (85 ft) octagonal concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white. 1-story keeper's house and other light station buildings. A photo is at right, a distant view is available, M. Willman has a distant view from the sea, MLTM has an article on the early history of the light station, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse functions as the landfall light for Gunsan (Kunsan), the principal port of Jeollabuk Province. The original lighthouse, installed under Japanese rule, was an octagonal cast iron tower. KAAN's photo and a portfolio of additional photos show the 1989 lighthouse, a round concrete tower. Located on a small island about 35 km (19 mi) south southwest of the city. The island is accessible by ferry from Gunsan. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SKR-015; Admiralty M4206; NGA 17748.
Solpunseo (Solpunso)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef about 1.7 km (1 mi) east northeast of Maldo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4205.5; NGA 17751.
Sohoenggyongdo (Sohoenggyong Do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) hexagonal white concrete tower. M. Willman has a view from the sea, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the east side of a gap in the Okdo island chain. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4205.3; NGA 17752.
Maldo Light
Maldo Light, 2007
MLTM Gunsan Office photo
Hoenggando (Hoenggan Do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); white flash every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the east end of the same island that has the Sohoenggyongdo lighthouse at its west end. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4205.35; NGA 17754.

Gunsan (Kunsan) Lighthouses
Note: Although the official English spelling is now Gunsan, the name of this major seaport is usually spelled Kunsan online. The city is a heavy industrial zone and also the site of a U.S. Air Force base.
* Bieungdo Hang East Breakwater
2006. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower with three ribs, lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. A closeup photo and a more distant view are available, there's a 2010 photo showing both breakwater lighthouses, and Bing has a satellite view. The Admiralty lists the focal plane as only 7 m (23 ft), which does not agree with the photos. Located at the end of the east breakwater of a new small boat harbor at Bieungdo, at the northern end of the Sea Dike. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4192.52.
* Bieungdo Hang West Breakwater
2006. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower with three ribs, lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. The light is in the background of a photo of the east breakwater light, there's a 2010 photo showing both breakwater lighthouses, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of a new small boat harbor at Bieungdo. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4192.51.
Bieungdo
Date unknown. Inactive since 2004. 13 m (43 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Bing's satellite view shows the lighthouse as well as a very tall observation or harbor control tower. This light formerly marked the south side of the entrance to Gunsan harbor, but the shallows east of Bieungdo have recently been filled for industrial development. The outer breakwater light has replaced Bieungdo as the entrance light for the harbor. Located on what was a small island (now connected to the mainland). Site status unknown (industrial area). ex-Admiralty M4193; NGA 17764.
Gunsan Sinhang South Breakwater
2010. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); red flash every 6 s. 19 m (62 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a round concrete base. Entire lighthouse is red. Karla Velasco's photo is at right, a nighttime photo shows this light and the next one both floodlit, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater on the south side of the entrance to Gunsan. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4193.2.
Gunsan Outer Breakwater South End
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); green flash every 6 s. 20 m (66 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A closeup photo is available, a nighttime photo shows this light and the previous one both floodlit, and Bing has a satellite view. This light marks the north side of the entrance into Gunsan (Kunsan). Located at the southwestern end of the detached breakwater that protects Gunsan harbor from northwesterly winds. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Admiralty M4193.3; NGA 17757.
Gunsan Outer Breakwater North End
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); yellow flash every 6 s. 20 m (66 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted yellow. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. This light marks the north side of the entrance into Gunsan (Kunsan). Located at the northeastern end of the detached breakwater. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Admiralty M4193.35.
Myeongam
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 25 m (82 ft) round concrete tower, painted black with a red horizontal band. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a shoal in the entrance to Gunsan, inside the outer breakwater. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Admiralty M4193.38.
Gunsan Hang South Breakwater Light
Gunsan Sinhang South Breakwater Light, Gunsan, July 2010
Flickr photo copyright Karla Velasco; used by permission
Myeongam Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); green flash every 4 s. 18 m (59 ft) round concrete tower, possibly with lantern and gallery, painted green. Gunsan MLTM has a photo (second photo in third row), and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef at the end of the north breakwater of Gunsan harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4193.5.
Gunsan Hang Ulho
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red flash every 4 s. 15 m (49 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. This light marks the end of a submerged reef on the south side of the fairway in Gunsan harbor. Located about 400 m (1/4 mi) off the quays on the south side of the harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4196; NGA 17772.
Changsando
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); red flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) hexagonal concrete tower, centered on a square 1-story base. Entire lighthouse is red. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the entrance to one of the basins of Gunsan harbor. Site status unknown (industrial area). Admiralty M4197; NGA 17780.
Parido (Pari Do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) octagonal concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is red. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a shoal on the south side of the Gunsan harbor channel. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4198; NGA 17788.
Minya Am
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a rocky reef near the south bank of the Geum River in western Gunsan. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4204; NGA 17800.

Sibidongpado Lighthouse
Sibidongpado (Shibidonga Do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 91 m (299 ft); white flash every 7 s. 8 m (26 ft) square skeletal tower mounted on a round white concrete tower. No photo available, and Bing has only a distant satellite view of the island. The height of the lighthouse was increased by 3 m (10 ft) in 2012, apparently by addition of the skeletal tower. Sibidongpado is the largest of a small group of islands about 30 km (19 mi) due west of the entrance to Gunsan harbor. Located on the highest point of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4206.4; NGA 17812.

Yeondo Lighthouses
Note: Yeondo (Yen-do) is a mountainous island about 25 km (15 mi) northwest of Gunsan.
Yeondo North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); red flash every 7 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted red. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the north breakwater of Yeondo harbor, at the northeastern corner of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4190.6; NGA 17806.
* Yeondo South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 16 m (52 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) concrete tower; the light is on a mast atop a slanted platform supported by two rectangular pillars. Hyun-Tae Kim's photo is at right, MLTM has a photo (third photo in second row), and another photo is available (a little over 1/3 the way down the page), but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the area. Located at the end of the south breakwater at Yeondo. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4190.5; NGA 17808.
Yeondo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 194 m (636 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. MLTM has a photo (last photo in second row), a 2006 news article has a small version of the same photo, but Google has only a very distant satellite view. The height of the lighthouse was increased by 4 m (13 ft) in 2006, but it's not clear if this required a new tower or extension of the old one. Located on the highest point of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4190; NGA 17804.
Yeondo South Breakwater Light
Yeondo South Breakwater Light, October 2004
Panoramio photo copyright Hyun-tae Kim; used by permission

Eocheongdo (Ochongdo) Islands Lighthouses
Note: Eocheongdo is the largest of a group of small islands located west northwest of Gunsan. These islands lie off the southwestern coast of South Chungcheong Province, but they are attached administratively to North Jeolla Province. Eocheongdo is accessible by ferry from Gunsan.
Kajinso (Kajin So)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white flash every 6 s. 6 m (20 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower with gallery. The light is seen in the background of a photo (second photo on the page) of the east breakwater lighthouse, and Bing has a satellite view. Located atop a skerry about 1.2 km (3/4 mi) southeast of the entrance to Eocheongdo harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4188.5; NGA 17818.
Eocheongdo (Ochongdo, U Chongdo) East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); red flash every 4 s. 21 m (69 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery; the base of the lighthouse is surrounded by an octagonal platform. Entire lighthouse is red. A photo is available (second photo on the page), and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the short east breakwater protecting the narrow entrance to Eocheongdo harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4188.7; NGA 17817.2.
* Eocheongdo (Ochongdo, U Chongdo) West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); green flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo (halfway down the page) shows both breakwater lighthouses, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the west breakwater of Eocheongdo harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4188.3; NGA 17817.
* Eocheongdo (Ochongdo, U Chongdo)
1912. Active; focal plane 61 m (200 ft); white flash every 12 s. 12 m (39 ft) concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, but in a touch unusual for Korea the lantern dome is painted red. Fog siren (5 s blast every 45 s). KAAN's photo is at the top of this page, a 2008 photo is available, a blogger has several excellent photos, and Bing has a satellite view of the station. This is one of the best known major lighthouses of Korea's west coast, and despite its remote location it is a popular tourist attraction. Located at the northwestern tip of Eocheongdo. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SKR-017; Admiralty M4188; NGA 17816.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Boryeong Area | South: Mokpo Area

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Posted January 9, 2008. Checked and revised June 18, 2013. Lighthouses: 43. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.