Jeju Special Self-Governing Province is an isolated island south-west of the mainland of South Korea. It is located 154km from Mokpo, 304km from Busan, and 255.1km from Tsushima of Japan. To the east it is facing Tsushima and Nagasaki prefecture of Japan with the south sea and East China Sea in between. To the west, Jeju faces Shanghai, China with the East China Sea in between. To the south with the South China sea and to the north is the mainland of South Korea with the South Sea in between.
Jeju Special Self-Governing Province’s location is southwest of South Korea. Being placed in the center of Northeast Asia such as the mainland of South Korea, China and Japan has given it a very important geopolitical location in the past. In 1275 (Empire of Goryeo), the Tamna general headquarters of Won was established here. For more than one century it was the headquarters of the conquering Japanese. In the last Pacific war, many military facilities were established here. During the Korean War, the first army training camp was set up here. This is the historical evidence of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province’s importance in location.
Location in water
Jeju is situated from 126˚08´43"E-126˚58´20" in longitude. The center meridian is 126˚33´. It is about 54´ west of the mainland’s center meridian, 127˚27´30". Mokpo, Gunsan, Incheon, Manpo etc are located on the same center meridian as Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. Excluding subsidiary islands, it ranges from 33˚11´27"N-33˚33´50"N in latitude. Its center latitude line is 33˚22´29"N.
Location in relations
Before modern times, Jeju was mainly used as a penal settlement. Jeju Special Self-Governing Province’s important location hasn’t been greatly used. Even though Korea was very important in geopolitics, its importance was ignored. This is related to Koreas being deeply absorbed into the Chinese culture band, which slowed Korea’s modernization. The perception of an "undeveloped island" was widespread especially before transportation was developed. However, Jeju has developed rapidly since the 1960’s and still rapidly developing.
Jeju Special Self-Governing Province’s total area is 1,848.85㎢. It is the smallest province of Korea. 1/10 of North Gyeongsang Province (the largest province of Korea) and 1/4 of North Chungcheong Province (the second smallest province of Korea). The land is generally flat and oval-shaped. Mt. Halla, in the center of the island, provides contour lines which form concentric circles, letting the cultivated lands spread on the sea coast. Hilly areas of 200-300m above sea level are gently sloped but most of them are idle land or meadows.
The sea coast area (less than 200m above sea level) is 1,013.5㎢ It occupies 54.9% of the whole area and is mainly used for farm land or residential areas. The mid mountainous area (200-500m above sea level) is 496.98㎢. It occupies 26.9% of the whole area and is mainly meadow or idle land. The low mountainous area of 500-1000m above sea level is 253.34㎢. It occupies 13.7% of the whole area and is mainly woods, mushroom farms and tourist sites. An alpine region of 1000m above sea level is 81.77㎢. It occupies 4.5% of the whole Island area which is being protected by the designation as a national park.
The area of Jeju City is 977.98㎢ and that of Seogwipo City is 870.87㎢. The areas of Jeju City and Seogwipo City are high in relation to their populations. This is because each city includes farmland, meadow, idle land and even the top of the mountain.