Lighthouses of South Korea: Gunsan

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 Gunsan City in 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.

Following several recent government reorganizations, navigational aids in the ROK are now regulated by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF). The lights in Buan County are maintained by the Gunsan Regional Office of Oceans and Fisheries. In Korean, the word for a lighthouse is deungdae (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
KAAN Major National Lighthouses
KAAN is the Korean Association of Aids to Navigation. Small photos and basic data, all in Korean.

Eucheongdo Light
Eucheongdo (Ochongdo) Light
Gunsan Oceans and Fisheries Administration photo

Okdo District Lighthouses
Note: The Okdo District includes islands to the west and southwest of Gunsan. In particular, the Gogunsan Islands are summits along a ridge extending east to west and ending at Maldo. Bridges connect Sinsido, Munyeodo, Jangjado, and Seonyudo to Gunsan.
Biando Hang North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 4 s. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical red concrete tower. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Biando is an inhabited island about 12 km (7.5 mi) northwest of the Byeonsan coastline. Located at the end of the north (main) breakwater of Biando. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4206.81.
Chidudo (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 Chidudo, a skerry off the southern tip of Biando. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4206.85; NGA 17746.5.
Sinsido Northwest
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 4 s. 15 m (49 ft) round green concrete tower. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef off the northwestern tip of Sinsido. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4206.36.
Sinsido South
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); nine quick white flashes every 15 s. 17 m (56 ft) round concrete tower painted yellow with a black horizontal band. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef off the southwestern tip of Sinsido. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4206.364.
Songgeusyeo
2007. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower painted black with one red horizontal band. A photo is at right, M.C. Han has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a reef off the harbor of Munyeodo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4206.366.

Songgeusyeo Light, Munyeodo, November 2007
Gunsan Oceans and Fisheries Administration photo
Seogeunnyeo
2003. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); six quick white flashes followed by one long white flash every 15 s. 19 m (62 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower; upper half of the tower painted yellow, lower half black. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located just off the southern tip of Munyeodo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4206.363.
Munyeodo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); nine quick white flashes every 15 s. 18 m (59 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower painted yellow with one black horizontal band. No photo available, but Bing has a cloudy satellite view. Located on a reef in the northern entrance to the passage between Munyeodo and Seonyudo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4206.365.
Jangjado Northwest
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green flash every 4 s. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical green concrete tower with double gallery. A photo is at right, the light is at the left in Jaiho Jung's 2016 photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef off the harbor of Jangjado. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4206.368.
Heukdo (Heukseo)
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 Google has a satellite view. Located on a reef about 450 m north of Gwallido. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. M4206.33; NGA 17753.1.
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 halfway between the northern tips of Gwallido and Daejangdo (about 1 km from each). Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4206.32; NGA 17753.
* Seonyudo Hang Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) rectangular red concrete tower fashioned to resemble a hand. An excellent photo and a closeup photo are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the breakwater at Seonyudo. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4206.358.
Seonyudo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); green flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) octagonal green concrete tower with double gallery. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef about 1.6 km (1 mi) southeast of Seonyudo harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4206.3625.
Jangjado Northwest Light
Jangjado Northwest Light, Okdo
Gunsan Oceans and Fisheries Administration photo
Dakseom
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two green flashes every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical green concrete tower with double gallery. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef off the harbor of Jangjado. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed.
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. Several photos (lower half of the page) are available, and 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. Several photos (lower half of the page) are available, and 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, M. Willman has a distant view from the sea, and Google 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 (search for 말도등대, 4/5 the way down the page) shows the 1989 lighthouse, a round cylindrical 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 Google has an indistinct 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.
Sohoenggyeongdo (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, Gunsan
Gunsan Oceans and Fisheries Administration photo
Gunsan 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. A photo and a more distant view (halfway down the page) are available, and Bing has a satellite view. There are several Korean lighthouses called Hoenggando. 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 (2)
2008. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) round concrete tower with three ribs, lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. M. Willman has a 2012 view from the sea, there's a 2010 photo showing both breakwater lighthouses, Dong-Hyung Han has a 2013 photo of the two lights in action, and Google has a satellite view. 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 (2)
2008. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) round concrete tower with three ribs, lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. M. Willman has a 2012 view from the sea, there's a 2010 photo showing both breakwater lighthouses, Dong-Hyung Han has a 2013 photo of the two lights in action, and Google 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 2012 at least and demolished in 2013-14. This was a 13 m (43 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A 2012 photo and a 2013 photo are available, and as of October 2016 Bing has a satellite view, but Google's more recent satellite view confirms the removal of the lighthouse. The lighthouse stood in front of the very tall 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 the Bieungdo lighthouse 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, another photo is available, a nighttime photo shows this light and the next one both floodlit, and Google 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. A closeup photo, a second photo and a third photo are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the northeastern end of the detached breakwater. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Admiralty M4193.35.
Myeongam Westward
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. A good photo is available, and Google 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; NGA 17758.5.
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. A good photo is available, and Google 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 Eulho (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 Google 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.
Gunsan Jangsando (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 Google 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.
Byeongho (Pyongho) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) octagonal concrete tower on a robust octagonal pyramidal pier. Lighthouse is red with a black base. A photo and a second photo are available, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse replaced a round tower. 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. Doo Ho Kim has a photo, a second photo is available, and Google 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) round white concrete tower. A photo shows a skeletal tower atop the concrete tower, but a Google photo sphere dated 2014 does not show this addition. Google has only a distant satellite view of the island. The height of the lighthouse was increased by 3 m (10 ft) in 2012, perhaps 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.

Gaeyado Lighthouse
Gunsan Janseo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Gaeyado is an island off the north side of the entrance to Gunsan harbor. Located on a reef about 1 km (0.6 mi) southeast of Gaeyado. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4190.7.

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. The City of Gunsan has a photo (bottom of the page) showing both breakwater lights, and Google has a 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, another photo is available (a little over 1/3 the way down the page), and Google has an indistinct satellite view. 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. No photo available, but Google has a 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.
Gajinseo (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. A photo is available, 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 Anchorage Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 12 m (39 ft) square cylindrical tower: four posts with gallery and a stairway spiralling around the tower. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is available, Hyun-tae Kim has a distant view, another photo (third photo on the page) shows all three breakwater lighthouses, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on an inner breakwater in Eocheongdo harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4189.
* 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). A 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: Buan

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Posted January 9, 2008. Checked and revised October 30, 2016. Lighthouses: 41. Site copyright 2016 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.