Dong (administrative division)

Revised Romanizationdong
Administrative neighborhood
Revised Romanizationhaengjeongdong
Legal-status neighborhood
Revised Romanizationbeopjeongdong

A dong or neighborhood is a submunicipal level administrative unit of a city[1] and of those cities which are not divided into wards throughout Korea. The unit is often translated as neighborhood and has been used in both administrative divisions of North Korea[2] and South Korea.[3][4]

In South Korea

A dong is the smallest level of urban government to have its own office and staff in South Korea. There are two types of dong: legal-status neighborhood (법정동) and administrative neighborhood (행정동). In some cases, a single legal-status neighborhood is divided into several administrative neighborhoods. In such cases, each administrative dong has its own office and staff.[5][6][7] Administrative dongs are usually distinguished from one another by number (as in the case of Myeongjang 1-dong and Myeongjang 2-dong).

The primary division of a dong is the tong (통/), but divisions at this level and below are seldom used in daily life. Some dong are subdivided into ga (가/), which are not a separate level of government but only exist for use in addresses. Many major thoroughfares in Seoul, Suwon, and other cities are also subdivided into ga. Basically ga stands for a historical reason: in Korea under Japanese rule, some districts living Japanese are subdivided as machi (, まち) and after Independence of Korea, these machi are renamed as ga.