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Kaesong[a] (UK /kˈsɒŋ/ KAY-song,[2] U.S. /kˈsɔːŋˈksɔːŋˈɡsʌŋ/ kay-SAWNG-,_-KAY-sawng-,_-gay,[3][4][5] Korean: [kɛsʌŋ]) is a special city in the southern part of North Korea. It was the capital of Korea during the Taebong kingdom and Goryeo dynasty. The city is near the Kaesong Industrial Region close to the border with South Korea.

During the Japanese occupation from 1910 to 1945, the city was known by the Japanese pronunciation of its name, "Kaijō".[6] Between 1945 and 1950, Kaesong was part of South Korea and under its control.

The 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement left the city under North Korean control. Due to the city's close distance to the border with South Korea, Kaesong has hosted exchanges between the two countries as well as the jointly run Kaesong Industrial Region.

As of 2009, the city had a population of 192,578.[7]

In 2019, a large portion of Kesong was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site called the Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong. The palaces, tombs, observatory, and other buildings in this site show the history of the Koryo Dynasty.[8][9]


  1. In the 19th century, Kaesong was also spelled Kaï-seng.[1]