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Jeonbuk State
Korean transcription(s)
 • Hangul전북특별자치
 • Hanja全北特別自治
 • McCune‑ReischauerChŏnbuk T'ŭkpyŏl Chach'ido
 • Revised RomanizationJeonbuk Teukbyeol Jachido
Flag of Jeonbuk State
Official logo of Jeonbuk State
Location of Jeonbuk State
Country South Korea
Capital and largest cityJeonju
Subdivisions6 cities; 8 counties
 • GovernorKim Gwan-young (Democratic)
 • Total8,069.05 km2 (3,115.48 sq mi)
 • Rank7th
 (December, 2022)
 • Total1,769,607
 • Density219.31/km2 (568.0/sq mi)
Metropolitan Symbols
 • FlowerZinnia
 • TreeGinkgo
 • BirdMagpie
 • TotalKR₩ 58 trillion
US$ 46 billion (2022)
ISO 3166 codeKR-45
WebsiteOfficial website (English)

Jeonbuk State (Korean전북특별자치도; Hanja全北特別自治道), also known as Jeonbuk is a Special Self-governing Province of South Korea in the Honam region in the southwest of the Korean Peninsula. Jeonbuk borders the provinces of South Chungcheong to the north, North Gyeongsang and South Gyeongsang to the east and South Jeolla to the south.

Jeonbuk State emerged in 1896 from the northern part of the old Jeolla province, one of the Eight Provinces of Korea. Originally North Jeolla Province, it was renamed Jeonbuk (a shortening of North Jeolla) on 18 January 2024 concurrent with the territory gaining more autonomy and being classified as self-governing rather than as a regular province. The special bill on the creation of the special autonomous province of Jeolla du Nord is a project put forward by the party of power to the people in August 2022 in accordance with Article 6 of the special law on the establishment of special autonomous provinces. It is the 3rd after the provinces of Jeju and Gangwon to obtain this status.

Jeonju is the capital and largest city of Jeonbuk, with other major cities including Iksan, Gunsan and Jeongeup.


During the Proto-Three Kingdoms period, Jeolla region was the center of the Mahan confederacy among Samhan. There were 15 tribal countries out of 54 in the region. During the period of the Three States, this region came to belong to Baekje when it absorbed Mahan. Baekje was destroyed by the Silla and Chinese Tang dynasty allied force in 660 (20th year of King Uija) and ruled by Tang. It became a part of Silla when Tang was expelled in 676 (16th year of King Munmu).

When there were nine states and five small capitals in Unified Silla in 685, there were Wansan-ju (present Jeonju) and Namwon-gyeong (present Namwon) in Jeollabuk-do in existence.

In 892, when General Gyeon Hwon founded Hubaekje (later Baekje), this area was the center of the country for about 50 years. In 936, during the rule of Singeom, it was attributed to Goryeo Dynasty. From 900 to the time when Hubaekje was attributed to Goryeo, Wansan-ju (present Jeonju) had been its capital, and the country ruled the whole Jeolla-do region.

In 996 (14th year of King Seongjong), this region was named Gangnam province and the Korean government established the four states (Jeonju-Jeonju, Yeongju-Gobu, Sunju-Sunchang, and Maju-Okgu) in the North Jeolla region.

Gangnam-do (Jeonbuk) and Haenam-do (Jeonnam) were combined and titled as Jeolla-do in 1018 (9th year of King Hyeonjong's reign).

During the Joseon Dynasty, as the administrative districts of the whole nation were organized in the Eight Provinces system in 1413 (13th year of King Taejong's reign), Jeolla-do took charge of vast areas of one prefecture, four autonomous counties, four protectorates, 12 counties, and 31 counties covering present Jeollanam-do, Jeollabuk-do and Jeju-do.

In 1896 (33rd year of King Gojong's reign), the whole country was divided into 13 provinces. Jeolla-do was divided into Jeollanam-do and Jeollabuk-do. Jeollabuk-do consisted of 26 counties.During the Japanese colonial periodn, the province became the province of Zenrahoku-dō, which was reverted into the original subdivision in 1945.

In 1963, Geumsan-gun was incorporated into Chungnam, and Wido-myeon of Jeonnam was incorporated into Jeonbuk. Jeongju-eup and Namwon-eup were raised to cities in 1981 and Gimje-eup was raised to city status in 1989. Wansan-gu and Deokjin-gu were established in Jeonju-city in the same year.

Due to establishment of cities in the mixed type of city-farming area in 1995, Okgu, Jeungeup, Namwon, Gimje and Iksan-Guns were combined. Gimje and Iksan-guns were merged and Gunsan, Jeonju, Namwon, Gimje and Iri cities were integrated. Through repeated reorganizations of administrative districts, now the region consists of the administrative districts of six cities and eight counties.

Failures in the hosting of the 25th World Scout Jamboree in July 2023 led to political controversy, adding to long-term concerns about a lack of development alongside population decline and aging. As a result of a law passed in December 2023, on 18 January 2024 the North Jeolla became a special self-governing province and was renamed Jeonbuk State (Jeonbuk being an abbreviation of North Jeolla). This new status increases the autonomy of the province's government, being able to approve projects requiring environmental impact assessments and tailor its own immigration and tourism policies.[2]


Jeonbuk State is in the south-western part of Korea, bordered on the south-eastern by Hadong-gun, Hamyang-gun, and Geochang-gun of Gyeongnam, and Gimcheon-si of Gyeongbuk, Bangyabong Peak of Sobaek Mountain (1,732 metres (5,682 ft)), Toggibong Peak (1,534 metres (5,033 ft)), Myeongseungbong Peak (1,586 metres (5,203 ft)), Baekwoonsan Mountain (1,279 metres (4,196 ft)), Namdeokyusan Mountain (1,508 metres (4,948 ft)), and Muyongsan Mountain (1,492 metres (4,895 ft)), on the south by Yeongwang-gun, Jangseong-gun, Damyang-gun, Gokseong-gun, and Gurye-gun, on the north by Geumsan-gun, Nonsan-si, Buyeo-gun, and Seocheon-gun of Chungnam, and Yeongdong-gun of Chungbuk and on the west by China over the Yellow Sea.

The total area of Jeonbuk State is 8,067 square kilometres (3,115 sq mi), which accounts for 8.1% of the total area of South Korea.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1980 2,287,689—    
1990 2,069,960−1.00%
2000 1,890,669−0.90%
2010 1,777,220−0.62%
2015 1,834,114+0.63%
2020 1,802,766−0.34%
Graphs are unavailable due to technical issues. There is more info on Phabricator and on
Source: Citypopulation[3]


Jeonju International Sori Festival

Jeonju International Sori Festival is a high-quality worldwide music art festival based on Pansori, Korea's Intangible Cultural Heritage. It is designed to promote Korean music to the world and exchange diverse musical heritages of many nations though sounds as meditation. The festival was selected as one of the "Best 25 International Festivals" by the UK music magazine Songlines in 2012 and 2013.[5]

Jeollabuk-do World Calligraphy Biennale

The Jeollabuk-do World Calligraphy Biennale was launched in favor of popularizing and globalizing Korean calligraphy in 1997. Since then, the art of calligraphy, the quintessence of Chinese character culture in East Asia, has gained global interest among calligraphers and the public over the years.[6]

Transportation and industry

In the 1960s the Honam highway (which has been upgraded to the Honam Expressway) was built. This created an industrial belt, connecting the cities of Iri (now called Iksan) and Gunsan (a port city) with the provincial capital of Jeonju.

Public transportation networks serve Jeonju and other cities in Jeollabuk-do including Gunsan Airport.[7]


National Universities with Graduate Schools

Private Universities with Graduate Schools

National Institutes of Higher Education

Private Institutes of Higher Education


Religion in North Jeolla (2005)

  Not religious (49.5%)
  Protestantism (26.3%)
  Buddhism (12.8%)
  Catholicism (11.4%)

According to the census of 2005[8] of the people of North Jeolla 37.7% follow Christianity (26.3% Protestantism and 11.4% Catholicism) and 12.8% follow Buddhism. 49.5% of the population is mostly not religious or follow Muism and other indigenous religions.

International sisterhood relationships and partnerships

Administrative divisions

Map # Name Hangul Hanja Population (2016.12) Subdivisions
Specific City
1 Jeonju 전주시 全州市 651,744 2 ilban-gu — 33 haengjeong-dong
2 Iksan 익산시 益山市 300,479 1 eup, 14 myeon, 14 haengjeong-dong
3 Gunsan 군산시 群山市 277,551 1 eup, 10 myeon, 16 haengjeong-dong
4 Jeongeup 정읍시 井邑市 115,173 1 eup, 14 myeon, 8 haengjeong-dong
5 Gimje 김제시 金堤市 87,782 1 eup, 14 myeon, 4 haengjeong-dong
6 Namwon 남원시 南原市 84,188 1 eup, 15 myeon, 7 haengjeong-dong
7 Wanju County 완주군 完州郡 95,480 3 eup, 10 myeon
8 Gochang County 고창군 高敞郡 60,597 1 eup, 13 myeon
9 Buan County 부안군 扶安郡 57,005 1 eup, 12 myeon
10 Sunchang County 순창군 淳昌郡 29,949 1 eup, 10 myeon
11 Imsil County 임실군 任實郡 30,197 1 eup, 11 myeon
12 Muju County 무주군 茂朱郡 24,949 1 eup, 5 myeon
13 Jinan County 진안군 鎭安郡 26,069 1 eup, 10 myeon
14 Jangsu County 장수군 長水郡 23,628 1 eup, 6 myeon


Hanok Village in Jeonju
Mireuksa Temple Site in Iksan

See also


  1. ^ "2022년 지역소득(잠정)".
  2. ^ Son Ji-hyoung (January 18, 2024). "With increased autonomy, Jeonbuk State seeks growth". The Korea Herald. Retrieved January 19, 2024.
  3. ^ "South Korea: Provinces".
  4. ^ skoinfo. "Jeollabuk-do". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  5. ^ "2018 전주세계소리축제 (2018.10.03~10.07)". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  6. ^ 세계서예전북비엔날레. :: 세계서예전북비엔날레::.
  7. ^ Official site
  8. ^ census 2005

35°49′N 127°09′E / 35.817°N 127.150°E / 35.817; 127.150