Mungyeong

Mungyeong

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Encyclopedia
Mungyeong is a city
Administrative divisions of South Korea
||South Korea is divided into 8 provinces , 1 special autonomous province , 6 metropolitan cities , and 1 special city...

 in Gyeongsangbuk
Gyeongsangbuk-do
Gyeongsangbuk-do or shortly Gyeongbuk is a province in eastern South Korea. The province was formed in 1896 from the northern half of the former Gyeongsang province, remained a province of Korea until the country's division in 1945, then became part of South Korea.The Gyeongsangbuk-do Office is...

 Province, South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

. The local government, economy, and transportation networks are all centered in Jeomchon
Jeomchon
Jeomchon is the urbanized center of Mungyeong city, in Gyeongsangbuk-do province, South Korea. The name literally means "mountain-pass village", and may refer to the low hills that run along the edge of town. It has a population of about 45,000 , on an area of roughly 45 km²...

, the principal town. Mungyeong has a lengthy history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, and is known today for its various historic and scenic tourist attractions. The city's name means roughly "hearing good news."

The city of Mungyeong was created after Jeomchon City and rural Mungyeong County were combined in 1995. It is now an urban-rural complex similar to 53 other small and medium-sized cities with a population under 300,000 people in South Korea.

History


The Mungyeong area is believed to have been controlled by a mixture of Jinhan
Jinhan confederacy
Jinhan was a loose confederacy of chiefdoms that existed from around the 1st century BC to the 4th century AD in the southern Korean peninsula, to the east of the Nakdong River valley, Gyeongsang Province. Jinhan was one of the Samhan , along with Byeonhan and Mahan...

 and Byeonhan
Byeonhan confederacy
Byeonhan, also known as Byeonjin, was a loose confederacy of chiefdoms that existed from around the beginning of the Common Era to the 4th century in the southern Korean peninsula...

 states during the Samhan
Samhan
The Samhan period of Korean history comprises confederacies of Mahan, Jinhan, and Byeonhan in central and southern Korean peninsula, during the final century BCE and the early centuries CE....

 period in the first centuries of the Common Era
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

. The Jinhan state of Geungi-guk may have been located near Sanyang-myeon. Byeonhan states such as Sabeol-guk and Gosunsi-guk, which probably controlled the Hamchang
Hamchang-eup
Hamchang is an eup in Sangju City, North Gyeongsang province, South Korea. It comprises 30 distinct ri , and has a population of 8,427 . There are two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. Hamchang was once the capital of a small kingdom, Goryeong Gaya...

 area of Sangju, may also have extended their control over adjacent areas that are now part of Mungyeong. However, this stage of local history is almost entirely hypothetical, since very little evidence of any kind remains.

At any rate, the rising power of Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

 controlled the area by 505. Capitalizing on the territory's strategic potential, Silla set up various mountain fortresses in the area to control movement in and out of western Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

. Control of transit through the area would have gained even greater importance after Silla's 553 seizure of the Han River
Han River (Korea)
The Han River is a major river in South Korea and the fourth longest river on the Korean peninsula after the Amnok, Duman, and Nakdong rivers. It is formed by the confluence of the Namhan River , which originates in Mount Daedeok, and the Bukhan River , which originates on the slopes of Mount...

 valley on the western side of the mountains. At this time the low Haneuljae
Haneuljae
Haneuljae, also known as Gyerimnyeong is a mountain pass in the Sobaek Mountains of central South Korea. It runs between Chungju city in North Chungcheong province and Mungyeong city in North Gyeongsang province...

 pass near Poam Mountain
Poam Mountain
Poamsan is one of the Sobaek Mountains of central South Korea. It rises to above sea level, and stands on the border of Mungyeong City, North Gyeongsang province and Chungju City, North Chungcheong province. To the southwest of its principal peak, Poam mountain descends to the low pass of...

 was probably the favored crossing, in contrast to the higher Mungyeong Saejae pass which came into favor in the Joseon period
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

.

As Silla reorganized its administrative structure under King Seongdeok in 757, the Mungyeong area was placed under the province of Sangju, and divided among various hyeon, or local districts. During this Unified Silla
Unified Silla
Unified Silla or Later Silla is the name often applied to the Korean kingdom of Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, when it conquered Baekje in 660 and Goguryeo in 668, unifying the southern portion of the Korean peninsula...

 period the temple of Gwaneumsa, of which all but a few traces have vanished, was constructed near Haneuljae in present-day Mungyeong-eup.

In the early Goryeo
Goryeo
The Goryeo Dynasty or Koryŏ was a Korean dynasty established in 918 by Emperor Taejo. Korea gets its name from this kingdom which came to be pronounced Korea. It united the Later Three Kingdoms in 936 and ruled most of the Korean peninsula until it was removed by the Joseon dynasty in 1392...

 period, in 983, King Seongjong
Seonjong of Goryeo
Seonjong of Goryeo was the 13th emperor of Goryeo. He's the second son of Empress Inye and born in September, 1049. He was sealed as marquis of Gukwon in March, 1056. Harmony of Confucism and Buddhism made his political statue very stable...

 reorganized local government yet again. Most of Mungyeong remained divided into assorted hyeon, under the central jurisdiction of Sangju. In 1390, Mungyeong-gun (Mungyeong County) begins to appear in the records, although not with its current boundaries.

In the Joseon period, the Eight Provinces
Eight Provinces (Korea)
During most of the Joseon Dynasty, Korea was divided into eight provinces . The eight provinces' boundaries remained unchanged for almost five centuries from 1413 to 1895, and formed a geographic paradigm that is still reflected today in the Korean Peninsula's administrative divisions, dialects,...

 were laid out and thus Mungyeong became part of Gyeongsang
Gyeongsang
Gyeongsang was one of the eight provinces of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. Gyeongsang was located in the southeast of Korea....

, which it remains. During later Joseon times, the road from Seoul to Busan was established running over Mungyeong Saejae. Beginning in the 18th century, gates were erected on the road to control traffic and protect travelers from brigandage. These gates are still preserved today.

The first railroads were constructed in the area during the period of Japanese occupation. Jeomchon Station was opened on December 25, 1924. However, the pace of resource extraction did not accelerate greatly until the post-war period, under the first South Korean government led by Syngman Rhee
Syngman Rhee
Syngman Rhee or Yi Seungman was the first president of South Korea. His presidency, from August 1948 to April 1960, remains controversial, affected by Cold War tensions on the Korean peninsula and elsewhere. Rhee was regarded as an anti-Communist and a strongman, and he led South Korea through the...

. Construction on the Gaeun Line, with the goal of improving access to the coal deposits around Gaeun, began on January 18, 1953, before the official end of the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 (the line was completed in 1955).

Local self-governance was established in the early years of the Republic of Korea, but abruptly cancelled following the military coup of 1961. After the end of military dictatorship, local representative government was reinstituted in 1991. At that time, the present-day territory of Mungyeong was divided between Jeomchon City and Mungyeong County. The city acquired its present-day borders on January 1, 1995, when the two former units were merged to form Mungyeong City.

Geography



Mungyeong extends a total of 40 km from west to east, and 37 from north to south. Its shape very roughly approximates a right triangle
Right triangle
A right triangle or right-angled triangle is a triangle in which one angle is a right angle . The relation between the sides and angles of a right triangle is the basis for trigonometry.-Terminology:The side opposite the right angle is called the hypotenuse...

, with the hypotenuse corresponding to the peaks of the Sobaek mountains
Sobaek Mountains
The Sobaek Mountains are a mountain range cutting across the southern Korean peninsula. They split off from the Taebaek Mountains and trend southwest across the center of the peninsula. They are traditionally considered to reach their southwestern limit at Jirisan, which is also the highest peak...

. The northern tip is in Dongno-myeon, at 36°52'10 N latitude
Latitude
In geography, the latitude of a location on the Earth is the angular distance of that location south or north of the Equator. The latitude is an angle, and is usually measured in degrees . The equator has a latitude of 0°, the North pole has a latitude of 90° north , and the South pole has a...

. The southern extremity lies in Nongam-myeon, at 36°41'40
N. The easternmost edge of the city can also be found in Dongno-myeon, at 128°22'42 E longitude
Longitude
Longitude is a geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface. It is an angular measurement, usually expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds, and denoted by the Greek letter lambda ....

. On the west, Mungyeong comes to an end in Gaeun-eup, at 127°52'48
E.

Mungyeong City stands on the border between North Gyeongsang and North Chungcheong provinces. On its northern and western borders, it adjoins the North Chungcheong districts of Danyang County
Danyang County
Danyang County is a county in North Chungcheong Province, South Korea.-Symbols:*county tree: Yew tree*county bird: Magpie*county flower: Royal Azalea-Geography:...

, Jecheon City
Jecheon
Jecheon is a city in Chungcheongbuk-do , South Korea. The city is a major railway junction , served by the Jungang, Chungbuk and Taebaek Lines. Jecheon has scenic surroundings and several tourist spots like the Uirimji Reservoir, Cheongpung Lake and Cheongpung Cultural Properties Complex...

, and Chungju City
Chungju
Chungju is a city in North Chungcheong province, South Korea. Namsan is a mountain located on the outskirts of the city.The city is famous for the annual martial arts festival held in October. Also of note, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon grew up here....

 on the north and Goesan County
Goesan County
Goesan County is a county in North Chungcheong Province, South Korea.-External links:*...

 on the northwest. Within North Gyeongsang province, Mungyeong adjoins Yecheon County
Yecheon County
Yecheon County is a county in the province of North Gyeongsang, South Korea. It is 661 sq. km. in area, and in 2004 had a population of 52,311. It has lost over 2/3 of its inhabitants since the mid 1960s. It consists of twelve administrative districts...

 to the east and Sangju City
Sangju
Sangju is a city in North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. Although Sangju is rather rural, it is very old and was once a key city. Along with Gyeongju, it gives rise to half of the name of the Gyeongsang provinces...

 to the south.

The topography of Mungyeong is dominated by the Sobaek mountains, which form the line between North Gyeongsang and North Chungcheong provinces. The city's highest point lies on this line, at 1161-meter Munsu peak of Worak Mountain
Worak Mountain
Woraksan, or Worak Mountain, is a major mountain of the Sobaek mountain range. Its highest peak is above sea level. It forms part of the boundary between North Chungcheong and North Gyeongsang provinces. Its slopes contain portions of Mungyeong city in North Gyeongsang, as well as Danyang...

 in Dongno-myeon. The city's terrain, cut by numerous valleys, slopes down from the Sobaek peaks toward the valleys of the Nakdong River
Nakdong River
The Nakdong River is the longest river in South Korea, and passes through major cities such as Daegu and Busan.-Geography:...

 and its tributary, the Yeong
Yeong River
The Yeong River is a river in Mungyeong City, North Gyeongsang province, South Korea. It flows into the Nakdong River, which in turn flows into the Sea of Japan . The river rises from Hwabuk-myeon in Sangju, and drains most of western Mungyeong and parts of northern Sangju. From tip to tail, it...

. At their meeting-point in Yeongsun-myeon, the rivers are barely 200 m above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

. Above the valleys, the soil is thin and outcroppings of igneous or sedimentary bedrock
Bedrock
In stratigraphy, bedrock is the native consolidated rock underlying the surface of a terrestrial planet, usually the Earth. Above the bedrock is usually an area of broken and weathered unconsolidated rock in the basal subsoil...

 are common. Millions of years of erosion
Erosion
Erosion is when materials are removed from the surface and changed into something else. It only works by hydraulic actions and transport of solids in the natural environment, and leads to the deposition of these materials elsewhere...

 have created spectacular cliffs and escarpments in many areas, some of which have become major attractions for local tourism.

Climate


Located in the shadow of the Sobaek mountains and west of the Taebaek Mountains
Taebaek Mountains
The Taebaek Mountains are a mountain range in both North Korea and South Korea. They form the main ridge of the Korean peninsula.-Geography:...

, Mungyeong has a markedly inland climate. The number of frost-free days is significantly lower than it is in more coastal areas of South Korea. Annual temperature fluctuates around 11°C, and annual rainfall around 1300 mm. There are roughly 90 days of heavy rain per year, of which about 30 fall during the monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

al rainy season in July and August.

Government


The seat of government is located in Jeomchon 4-dong. Local government is ruled by representative democracy in a parliamentary system. However, many aspects of local governance are actually under centralized provincial or national control. For example, educational affairs are overseen by the Mungyeong Office of Education, which reports not to the city government but to the North Gyeongsang provincial Office of Education. A similar situation applies to the local police.

Executive


The mayors of Mungyeong city have been elected
Election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

 by popular vote since 1995. Under current South Korean law, elections are held every four years. The current mayor of Mungyeong City is Park In Won, who began serving on July 1, 2002 after prevailing in the local elections of June 13, 2002. Park is an independent. This is unusual in North Gyeongsang, where most elected officials are members of the conservative Hannara Party. The vice mayor is Jeong Rak Jae, who began serving on September 2, 2003.

Legislative


The head of the Mungyeong city council is Jeong Gyu-hwa (정규화/鄭圭和), who was elected from Jeomchon 3-dong. There are a total of thirteen members altogether.

Judicial


The city court of Mungyeong is located near the city hall. Along with the Yecheon city court, it is one of two courts overseen by the Sangju circuit, which in turn reports to the Daegu District Court in the provincial capital.

Demographics


The population of Mungyeong continues to fall, as more people move away to major urban centers such as Daegu and Seoul. Unbalanced birth and death rates also play a part. As of 2003, the city recorded 1.6 births per day but 2.3 deaths. This probably reflects the disproportionate tendency of those who move away to be younger people of child-bearing age. Although the city overall is losing population, there continues to be a considerable expansion in construction in the urban center of Jeomchon.

The overwhelming majority of Mungyeong's people (approximately 99.7%) are ethnic Korean. Many of them are from families with long and deep roots in the area.

Economy


The Mungyeong economy during much of the 20th century was based on coal mining
Coal mining
The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States,...

. However, these mines were closed in the 1980s, and since then the municipal government has focused on developing tourism, agriculture and light industry in the region.

Because of its mountainous condition, most of Mungyeong's land (roughly 75%) is unsuitable for farming. Nonetheless, the agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 sector continues to play an important role in the local economy as well. Some local produce is sold directly in the area, but most is exported to major urban centers around South Korea. Orchard farming, particularly apple
Apple
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

 growing plays an important role, with 4.4 km² of land devoted to orcharding.

The local government has set up various institutions to promote agricultural and industrial development, including "agro-industrial complexes" located around the rural districts. These efforts have met with some success, as for example the area under orchard cultivation expanded significantly in the late 1990s.

Communications and media


In terms of media it may be considered largely identical with the rest of northern North Gyeongsang. Broadcast is dominated by network outlets in Daegu or Andong
Andong
Andong is a city in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, South Korea. It is the largest city in the northern part of the province with a population of 167,821 in October 2010. The Nakdong River flows through the city...

, and most available newspapers are printed in Seoul, although provincial newspapers also circulate.

Local journalism, therefore, is primarily limited to local weekly newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

s such as the Saejae Sinmun. These weeklies are dominated by classified advertising
Classified advertising
Classified advertising is a form of advertising which is particularly common in newspapers, online and other periodicals which may be sold or distributed free of charge...

, but also carry a selection of local news and commentary.

In recent years, cable television
Cable television
Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through coaxial cables or digital light pulses through fixed optical fibers located on the subscriber's property, much like the over-the-air method used in traditional...

 and high-speed internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 service has become widespread in Mungyeong.

Divisions


Mungyeong city is divided into 2 eup, 7 myeon and 5 dongs. These are the primary divisions of the city; each is divided in turn into a large number of ri. (For more information on these terms, see Administrative divisions of South Korea
Administrative divisions of South Korea
||South Korea is divided into 8 provinces , 1 special autonomous province , 6 metropolitan cities , and 1 special city...

)
. The dongs are all clustered around the town of Jeomchon. The smallest is Jeomchon 1-dong, which covers only 0.98 square kilometers and covers the traditional city center of Jeomchon. The largest is Jeomchon 4-dong northwest of town, which at 29.62 km² is bigger than all the others put together. Prior to January 1, 2004, the dongs were known by individual names; for example, Jeomchon 4-dong was known as "Mojeon-dong."

Six of the myeon, or townships, from an L, with its bottom in the southeast near the confluence of the Yeong and Nakdong rivers: Yeongsun-myeon, Sanyang-myeon, Maseong-myeon, Hogye-myeon, Sanbuk-myeon and Dongno-myeon. Nongam-myeon lies south of Gaeun, at Mungyeong's southern limit.

Gaeun-eup was once an important town in its own right, but has now become largely marginalized. Mungyeong-eup
Mungyeong-eup
Mungyeong-eup; ; is an eup in Mungyeong city in Gyeongsangbuk-do. It was formerly the seat of government of Mungyeong County, until its merger with Jeomchon in 1995 to form Mungyeong city. The eup contains the provincial park of Mungyeong Saejae. It also takes in a strip of the southern reaches...

, the principal center of the city apart from Jeomchon, is found in the northern area of the county. It was the seat of Mungyeong County before that entity was merged with Jeomchon City to form the modern boundaries of Mungyeong. It still retains a relatively high profile in the county, with its own library and intercity bus terminal.

People


In the late 9th century, when Mungyeong was a part of the Sangju district of Silla, a man from Gaeun-eup (then Gaseon-hyeon) named Ajagae
Ajagae
Ajagae was a military leader in the Sangju area during the waning years of Unified Silla. He led a local rebellion which seized Sangju. He is remembered today primarily as the father of Gyeon Hwon, the king of Hubaekje. Some Gyeon family lineages therefore claim him as their progenitor, although...

 fomented a local peasant rebellion which seized the fortress of Sangju. The man's son, Gyeon Hwon
Gyeon Hwon
Gyeon Hwon was the king and founder of Hubaekje, one of the Later Three Kingdoms of Korea. Some records render his name as "Jin Hwon" . He was also the progenitor of the Hwanggan Gyeon clan...

, who was also probably born in Gaeun, ruled the kingdom of Hubaekje
Hubaekje
Hubaekje, or Later Baekje, was one of the Later Three Kingdoms of Korea, along with Hugoguryeo and Silla. It was officially founded by the disaffected Silla general Gyeon Hwon in 900, and fell to Wanggeon's Goryeo army in 936. Its capital was at Jeonju, in present-day North Jeolla province...

 during the Later Three Kingdoms period.

Various literary figures of the Joseon period hailed from Mungyeong, as did heroes of the resistance against Japanese attacks in the late 16th century (the local commander Sin Gil-won, 1548-1592) and of the righteous army
Righteous army
Righteous armies, sometimes called irregular armies or militias, have appeared several times in Korean history, when the national armies were in need of assistance....

 movement in the early 20th (the leader I Gang-nyeon, 1858-1908).

Tourism



Numerous tourist attractions have been promoted throughout the city of Mungyeong. By far the best-known of these around the country is Mungyeong Saejae
Mungyeong Saejae
Mungyeong Saejae is a mountain pass in central South Korea. It lies on Joryeong Mountain between the main peak and Sinseon Peak . The pass itself rises to above sea level. Mungyeong Saejae connects Mungyeong City, North Gyeongsang province with Goesan County in North Chungcheong province...

, the mountain pass where the old road from Busan to Seoul passed over the Sobaek mountains and out of the Gyeongsang
Gyeongsang
Gyeongsang was one of the eight provinces of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. Gyeongsang was located in the southeast of Korea....

 region. The three gates which controlled traffic on that road are now maintained as tourist attractions.

Various other places around Mungyeong are renowned for their scenery. Among these is the Jinnam Bridge area, which a regional newspaper called the Yeongnam Ilbo once called "one of the eight wonders of Gyeongsangbuk-do." There are three museums in Mungyeong: the historical museum at Mungyeong Saejae, a ceramics museum nearby, and the Coal Museum in Gaeun-eup. Additional local tourist attractions include spa
Destination spa
A destination spa is a short term residential/lodging facility with the primary purpose of providing individual services for spa-goers to develop healthy habits. Historically many such spas were developed at the location of natural hot springs or sources of mineral waters...

s, a shooting
Shooting
Shooting is the act or process of firing rifles, shotguns or other projectile weapons such as bows or crossbows. Even the firing of artillery, rockets and missiles can be called shooting. A person who specializes in shooting is a marksman...

 range, a paragliding
Paragliding
Paragliding is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying paragliders: lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure...

 area, and the Gyeongcheon Lake reservoir in the east.

Parkland takes up a significant portion of Mungyeong's total area. The Songnisan National Park
Songnisan National Park
Songnisan National Park is located in the center of the Sobaek Mountains range, on the border between the provinces of Chungcheongbuk-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. The area comprises the valleys of Hwayang, Seonyu, and Ssanggok and the mountain Songnisan, which has given the park its...

 covers part of Gaeun-eup in the southwest. Mungyeong Saejae is itself a provincial park, covering a substantial area of Mungyeong-eup. Also covering part of Mungyeong-eup and a considerable chunk of Dongno-myeon is Woraksan National Park
Woraksan National Park
Woraksan National Park is located in the provinces of Chungcheongbuk-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. It was designated as the 17th national park in 1984. It is named after the mountain Woraksan...

.

The municipal government has striven to convert the coal-mining tradition into a tourist attraction as much as possible. For example, a Coal Museum has been set up in Gaeun, which was once the heart of the mining district. Likewise, the former Gaeun Line railroad has been converted into a bicycle path
Segregated cycle facilities
Segregated cycle facilities are marked lanes, tracks, shoulders and paths designated for use by cyclists from which motorised traffic is generally excluded...

.

Transportation



The automobile is the preferred means of transportation for most Mungyeong residents. Auto ownership is quite high, with a total of 21,687 cars owned, according to local statistics. However, because of the city's low population density, traffic congestion is rare. National highways connect Jeomchon with Sangju, Chungju and Yeongju.

Before the end of 2004, the portion of the Jungbu Naeryuk Expressway
Jungbu Naeryuk Expressway
The Jungbu Naeryuk Expressway is a freeway in South Korea. Numbered 45, it was first constructed in three parts: connecting Yeoju to Chungju and Sangju to Gimcheon and Hyeonpung to Masan. The part of the expressway between Chungju and Sangju was completed at the end of 2004, with the last...

 running through Mungyeong was completed. Interchanges with the expressway are located at Jeomchon and Mungyeong-eup. This has led to significant changes in local transit patterns and the local economy.

The city's public transit needs are primarily served by buses: city buses which operate locally and to neighboring Sangju and Yecheon, and intercity buses which carry passengers to more distant destinations. Bus terminals are located in Mungyeong-eup and Jeomchon. Because of low passenger traffic, most intercity buses which pass through Mungyeong City also stop in Sangju.

Mungyeong is also served by passenger rail, through the Gyeongbuk Line
Gyeongbuk Line
The Gyeongbuk Line is a railway line serving North Gyeongsang Province in South Korea. The line runs from Gimcheon on the Gyeongbu Line via Sangju, Yeomchon , and Yecheon to Yeongju on the Jungang Line....

, which runs from Yeongju
Yeongju
Yeongju is a city in the far north region of North Gyeongsang province in South Korea, covering 668.84 km2 with a population of 113,930 people according to the 2008 census...

 to Gimcheon (where it joins the Gyeongbu Line
Gyeongbu Line
The Gyeongbu Line is the most important railway line in South Korea and one of the oldest. It was constructed by Japan in 1905, connecting Seoul to Suwon, Daejeon, Daegu, and Busan. The Gyeongbu Line is by far the most heavily travelled rail line in South Korea...

, and stops at Jeomchon Station. In the past, the Mungyeong Line and Gaeun Line, spurs which run from Jeomchon Station to Mungyeong-eup and Gaeun-eup, also carried passenger traffic. However, this was discontinued by the Korean National Railroad in 1995, as part of a general restructuring. The Gyeongbuk Line carries three to five passenger trains a day in each direction, in addition to significant freight traffic.

No airports are located within Mungyeong, but a small airport with passenger service operates in neighboring Yecheon.

Culture


The culture of Mungyeong is generally speaking similar to that of other rural areas in Gyeongsang province. It is marked by a relatively strong persistence of Korean Confucian
Korean Confucianism
Korean Confucianism is the form of Confucianism developed in Korea. One of the most substantial influences in Korean intellectual history was the introduction of Confucian thought as part of the cultural influence from China...

 values.

The city retains ties to traditional arts. Various Korean folksongs, including the Mungyeong Saejae arirang
Arirang
"Arirang" is a Korean folk song, sometimes considered the unofficial national anthem of Korea. Arirang is an ancient native Korean word with no direct modern meaning.- Variations :...

, are distinctive to the district. However, the most intensely promoted art form in the district is Mungyeong's traditional ceramic
Ceramics (art)
In art history, ceramics and ceramic art mean art objects such as figures, tiles, and tableware made from clay and other raw materials by the process of pottery. Some ceramic products are regarded as fine art, while others are regarded as decorative, industrial or applied art objects, or as...

 craft, which dates to the Joseon period and is still practiced by many master potters in the area.

The city is also well-known for its traditional tea bowl festival since 1999.

Local cuisine, although broadly similar to South Korean cuisine in general, does contain some local flourishes. The North Gyeongsang specialty jjim dalk, a spicy chicken and noodle dish, and Chuncheon-style chicken galbi
Galbi
Galbi or kalbi generally refers to a variety of gui or grilled dishes in Korean cuisine that is made with marinated beef short ribs in a ganjang-based sauce . In the Korean language, galbi literally means "rib" and can often indicate uncooked ribs...

 are widely available.

Religion


As elsewhere in South Korea, Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 coexists with Korean Buddhism
Korean Buddhism
Korean Buddhism is distinguished from other forms of Buddhism by its attempt to resolve what it sees as inconsistencies in Mahayana Buddhism. Early Korean monks believed that the traditions they received from foreign countries were internally inconsistent. To address this, they developed a new...

 and shamanism
Korean shamanism
Korean shamanism, today known as Muism or sometimes Sinism , encompasses a variety of indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the Korean people and the Korean area...

, and a large segment of the population professes no religious belief. Churches can be found in any sizeable community within Mungyeong. The area around Joryeong Mountain contains numerous places of importance for shamanic practitioners, or musogin.

Sports


No professional sports teams play in Mungyeong, but athletics is no less popular for that. The city stadium in Jeomchon hosts public athletic competitions, and in addition numerous private establishments such as batting
Batting
Batting may refer to:*Batting , the act of attempting to hit a ball thrown by the pitcher with a baseball bat, in order to score runs*Batting , the act of defending one's wicket with the cricket bat while attempting to score runs...

 cages can be found in the area.

Education


As elsewhere in South Korea, there is a three-tiered public education
Public education
State schools, also known in the United States and Canada as public schools,In much of the Commonwealth, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, the terms 'public education', 'public school' and 'independent school' are used for private schools, that is, schools...

al system: 6 years of elementary school, 3 years of middle school, and 3 years of high school. School attendance is compulsory. Within Mungyeong, there are 18 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, and 8 high schools, all overseen by the Mungyeong Office of Education. There is one middle school and one high school exclusively for girls; the others are coeducational. Some high schools, such as Mungyeong Industrial High School and Mungyeong Tourist High School, provide specific vocational training.

Many parents supplement their children's public education with private instruction, and thus there are numerous hagwon
Hagwon
Hagwon is the Korean-language word for a for-profit private institute, academy or cram-school prevalent in South Korea. The term is also sometimes used to describe similar institutions operated by Korean Americans in the United States...

s, or private academies, both in Jeomchon and outlying areas.

There is only one institution of higher education within Mungyeong, namely Mun Kyung College
Mun Kyung College
Mungyeong College, also known as Mun Kyung College, is a private technical college in Mungyeong city, North Gyeongsang province, South Korea. It is located in Hogye-myeon, on the outskirts of Jeomchon. It was established as Mun Kyung Technical College in 1990, and took on its present name in...

 in Hogye-myeon. Many attend universities nearby, such as Sangju National University
Sangju National University
Sangju National University is a public university in Gajang-dong, in the city of Sangju, North Gyeongsang province. It has an enrollment of about 4,350 students, and employs about 105 professors. The university places a heavy emphasis on agricultural studies...

, or elsewhere in the country.

See also


External links