Lighthouses of South Korea: South Ongjin Islands

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 islands lying southwest of Incheon off South Korea's northwest coast, including the three townships of Deokjeok, Jawol, and Yeongheung. This coast 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). MLTM also operates the major coastal lights, but management of harbor lighthouses is in the hands of local port authorities. 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
KAAN Major Lighthouse Information - Incheon
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.
Port of Incheon - Light Lists
Separate lists for manned lighthouses, unmanned lighthouses, and lighted beacons.

Sunmido Light
Sunmido Light, Deokjeok
Port of Incheon photo

Deokjeok Township Lighthouses

Uldo Area Lighthouses
Note: Uldo is one of the outermost of the Incheon Bay islands, about 65 km (40 mi) southwest of Incheon.
Uldo (Ul To)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 231 m (758 ft); white flash every 6 s. 9 m (30 ft) round white concrete tower mounted on a round concrete base. A photo is at right, a closeup photo and a second photo are available, and the Degree Confluence Project has a photo of the island, but the lighthouse is not visible in Google's distant satellite view. Located on the highest point of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4155; NGA 17892.
Uldo North (Chi-do)
Date unknown. Inactive since 2011. 24 m (79 ft) tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. A black-and-white photo is available. Located on a rock off the northern tip of Uldo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ex-Admiralty M4155.1; NGA 17858.
* Uldo Hang West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); red flash every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted red. A photo of the two breakwater lights (halfway down the page) is available, and Google has a very distant satellite view. Located at the end of the west breakwater of Uldo harbor, on the north side of the island. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4155.2.
Uldo Hang East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. A photo of the two breakwater lights (halfway down the page) is available, and Google has a very distant satellite view. Located on the detached east breakwater of Uldo harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4155.3.
Uldo Light
Uldo Light
Deokjeok Tourist Development photo
Jido South
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); six quick white flashes followed by one long white flash every 15 s. 20 m (66 ft) round concrete tower, upper half painted yellow, lower half black. No photo available, and Google's satellite view does not show it. Located on a reef about 1 km (0.6 mi) south of Jido, an island north of Uldo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4155.35.
Uduam (Udu-am)
2001. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 16 m (52 ft) tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available. Located on a rock about 5 km (3 mi) northeast of Uldo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4149.3; NGA 17895.

Gakheuldo Area Lighthouses
Mineotan (Minotan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available, and Google's satellite view does not show the tower. Located on an isolated rock about 4 km (2.5 mi) northwest of Baegado. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4150; NGA 17920.
Gakheuldo (Kakhul Do) (2)
2010. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted black with one red horizontal band, mounted on a round concrete pier. A closeup photo is at right, but Google's satellite view does not show the tower. This light replaced an earlier light that was on land, and it's not known if that light was demolished. Located about 400 m (1/4 mi) off the south point of Gakheuldo, a small island about 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Deokjeokdo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4155.5; NGA 17924(?).

Deokjeokdo Area Lighthouses
South Deokjeokdo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); three green flashes every 7 s. 10 m (66 ft) round concrete tower, painted green. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located about 200 m (220 yd) offshore near the southernmost point of Deokjeokdo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4149.15.
Gamjeungtan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) round concrete tower, painted with black and red horizontal bands. No photo available, and the light is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located about 3 km (2 mi) off the south coast of Deokjeokdo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4149.25.
South Seopori (Tokchok Putni South)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13m (43 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 18 m (59 ft) round tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available, and the lighthouse is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located on a shoal a short distance off the southwestern point of Deokjeokdo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. NGA 18049.
Seonmido (Sunmido, Sonmi Do) (2)
2003 (station established 1934). Active; focal plane 172 m (564 ft); white flash every 12 s. 19.5 m (64 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 2-story concrete staff building. Lighthouse painted white. Additional keeper's houses and other light station buildings. A photo is at the top of this page, the Port of Incheon has a page for the lighthouse, and Google has a distant satellite view. Light lists describe the tower height as 9.5 m (31 ft), but this refers to the original lighthouse, which was demolished. KAAN has a photo of the old lighthouse (second lighthouse on the page). This lighthouse is the landfall light for Incheon, the largest port of Korea's west coast. Located at the western tip of Sunmido, an island off the northwestern corner of the much larger island of Deokjeokdo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4148; NGA 18040.
Gakheuldo Light
Gakheuldo Light, April 2011
Port of Incheon news photo
Ungam (Dohang Sudo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 16 m (52 ft) round concrete tower, painted red. Charley Shin has a 2010 photo, a 2009 photo and another photo (first photo on the page) are available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. NGA describes the tower as black with a red horizontal band. Located off the southwestern tip of Deokjeokdo, marking the entrance to a narrow inlet between that island and the neighboring island of Soyado. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4149.1; NGA 18051.
Soyari
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) round concrete tower, painted red. A photo (second photo on the page) is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located off a promontory on the south side of the inlet between Soyado and Deokjeokdo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4149.4; NGA 18050.
Soyado
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) octagonal white concrete tower. No photo available, and Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the location. Located on the southeastern tip of Soyado. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4168.5; NGA 18052.

Jawol Township Lighthouses

Ijakdo Area Lighthouses
Janganseo (Changanso)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 21 m (69 ft) round concrete tower, painted with black and red horizontal bands. No photo available, and the light is barely visible in Google's satellite view. Located on an isolated rocky islet about 8 km (5 mi) north of the entrance to Daesan Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4157; NGA 17896.
Dongbaekdo (Tongbaekdo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); 13 m (43 ft) octagonal cylindrical white concrete tower with gallery. Cherley Shin has a very distant view, but the islet is only a faint blur in Google's satellite view. Located atop a small island off the northwestern end of Ijakdo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4168; NGA 18056.
Ijakdo (Ijak To) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 4 s. 14 m (46 ft) round concrete tower, painted green. Shim Jaehee's photo is at right, another photo is available (halfway down the page), and Google has an indistinct satellite view. An older, much smaller light stands next to the current light. Located on the northwestern tip of Ijakdo, an island about 7 km (4.5 mi) east southeast of Deokjeokdo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4170; NGA 18060.
Gwangyeo (Kwangyo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) round concrete tower, painted red. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located on an islet about 4 km (2.5 mi) northwest of Budo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4170.4; NGA 18062.
Haejeonseo (Haejonso)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 13 m (43 ft) round tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available, and the light is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located on a reef about 1 km (0.6 mi) north of the southern islands of Jawol township. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4170.2; NGA 18063.

Jawoldo Area Lighthouses
Muktongdo (Moktongdo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 6 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round white concrete tower. A photo is available (second photo on the page), and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a small island just off the west end of Jawoldo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4169; NGA 18064.
Ijakdo Light
Ijakdo Light, Jawol, August 2009
Panoramio photo copyright Shim JaeHee
permission requested
Wolamdu (Wolamdo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) round tower, painted red. A photo, a copy of the same photo, and a small photo are available, but the islet is barely visible in Google's satellite view. This light and the next one frame a passage southeast of the island of Jawoldo. Located on a reef about 1 km (0.6 mi) south of Jawoldo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4163.5; NGA 18063.5.
Hangseo (Chawoldo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); three green flashes every 7 s. 16 m (52 ft) round tower, painted green. No photo available, and the light is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located on a reef about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) southeast of the Wolamdo light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4163.7; NGA 18063.7.
Chochiam (Chociam)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) round tower, painted black with a red horizontal band. No photo available, and the reef is barely visible in Google's satellite view. Located on a reef about 7 km (4.5 mi) northwest of Chawoldo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4169.7; NGA 18069.

Yeongheung Lighthouses

Budo Area Lighthouses
Mudangseo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 19 m (62 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted black with one red horizontal band, mounted on a round concrete pier. A photo is available, but the reef is only a blur in Google's satellite view. Located on a reef in the northern approach to Pyeongtaek. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4158.2; NGA 17940.
Budo (Bu Do)
1904. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); white flash every 15 s. 12 m (39 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a keeper's house. 3rd (?) order Fresnel lens in use. Lighthouse painted white. 2-story red brick administration and coast guard building. Fog horn (one blast every 40 s). KAAN's photo is at right, another photo is available, and Google has a good satellite view. The original lantern is displayed outside the National Lighthouse Museum in Homigot (see the Pohang Area page). Located on a small island at the eastern end of the Deokjeok chain. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4158; NGA 17932.
Budo East
Date unknown. 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 concrete tower, upper half painted yellow, lower half black. A distant photo (last photo on the page) is available, but the lighthouse is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located on a reef about 1.2 km (3/4 mi) east of Budo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4158.1.
Tongseo (Tongso)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) round concrete tower, painted green. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a rock about 5 km (3 mi) northeast of Bu Do. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4163; NGA 17934.

Yeongheungdo Area Lighthouse
Baegam (Paek Am)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 14 m (46 ft) round concrete tower, painted green. No photo available, and the location is only a blur in Google's satellite view. Located on a rock off the southwestern tip of Yeongheungdo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4164; NGA 17944.
Seosudo (Seo Sudo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); red flash every 6 s. 17 m (56 ft) round tower with lantern and gallery mounted on a circular platform supported by three piles. Lighthouse painted red. No photo available. Located on a shoal at the north end of the Yeongheungdo group. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4165; NGA 17954.
Namjangja-so
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); red light occulting once every 4 s. 15 m (49 ft) round tower with gallery, painted red. Google has a satellite view. Located on an isolated rock about 8 km (5 mi) east southeast of the Seo Sudo lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4164.5; NGA 17956.5.
Budo Lighthouse
Budo Light, Yeongheung
Korean Association of Aids to Navigation photo
Bukjangjaseo (Pukjangja-so)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) round tower with gallery, painted black with one red horizontal band. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on an isolated rock about 9 km (4.5 mi) east of the Seo Sudo lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4166; NGA 17956.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Incheon Area | South: Dangjin and Pyeongtaek

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Posted February 4, 2008. Checked and revised July 17, 2013. Lighthouses: 32. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.