Lighthouses of South Korea: Northern Sinan Islands

For most of its history Korea was an independent kingdom or at least an autonomous kingdom under Chinese influence. This came to an end in 1910, when Japan annexed all of Korea. At the end of World War II in 1945 the 38° parallel was established as the dividing line between U.S. and Soviet zones of occupation, and in 1948 separate civil administrations were established in the two halves of the country. The Korean War (1950-53) ended in a draw with the armistice line falling close to the prewar 38° line. The Republic of Korea (ROK), commonly called South Korea, occupies the Korean peninsula south of the armistice line.

This page covers lighthouses in northern Sinan County, an island county of Jeollanam Province, located on South Korea's southwest coast in the region formerly known as Jeolla or Cholla. The county includes a large archipelago west of Mokpo. Also included in the county are the Central Sinan Islands and the Heuksan Islands farther southwest.

Navigational aids in the ROK are regulated by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF). Lighthouses in Sinan are maintained by the Mokpo Regional Maritime Affairs and Port Authority.

In Korean the word for a lighthouse is deungdae (등대); dan is a cape, do is an island, and hang is a harbor.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume M of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Port of Mokpo - Lighthouses
Photos and information in English for the major lighthouses of the area.
Mokpo Beacon Photos
Photos posted by the Mokpo MOF office.
Lighthouses in South Korea
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Online List of Lights - Korea
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.


Palgeum Light, Palgeumdo
Daum.net Creative Commons photo

Palgeum (Palgeumdo Area) District Lighthouses
* Palgeumdo (P'algum Do)
1971. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white flash every 6 s. 6 m (20 ft) round white concrete tower. A photo is above, another photo and a third photo (1/3 the way down the page) are available and Google has a satellite view. Located on the western tip of Palgeumdo, an island just to the northeast of Anjwado. Accessible by a hiking trail. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4214; NGA 17664.
Amchido
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a shoal off the northeastern tip of Maedo, an island northeast of Palgeumdo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4215.7; NGA 17633.
Hanapdeokdo (Hanapdokdo, Hanaptokto)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 6 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. The light is seen in an aerial photo and Google has a satellite view. Located atop a small island off the northeastern tip of Palgeumdo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4215.5; NGA 17632.
Bulmugido (Pulmugi-do)
Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) tapered square white concrete skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. A distant view (last photo on the page) is available and Google has a satellite view. This light has the same design as the Galdu Hang Light in southern Haenam (see the Jindo page). Located on an island about 13 km (8 mi) west of Mokpo and 10 km (6 mi) southeast of Palgeumdo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4216.9; NGA 17621.

Amtae (Amtaedo Area) District Lighthouse
Haeseo (Haeso)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); quick-flashing white light. 8 m (26 ft) round concrete tower, upper half painted black and lower half yellow. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a reef off the northeastern tip of Amtaedo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4216.2; NGA 17641.
Jaewando
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a tiny island about 3 km (2 mi) east of the Haeseo Light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4216.1; NGA 17638.
* Amtaedo (Amtae Do)
1913. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) round stucco-clad brick tower, painted white. Lantern removed. A photo is at right, another closeup photo (halfway down the page) and several distant views are available. The small tower can be seen in Google's satellite view, and Naver also has a satellite view. This is clearly a historic lighthouse, but we do not know anything of its history. Located at the eastern tip of Amtaedo, the largest island of the Sinan archipelago. Accessible by a hiking trail. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4216; NGA 17636.
Hwangdalseo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); six quick white flashes followed by one long white flash every 15 s. 15 m (49 ft) round concrete tower, upper half painted yellow and lower half black. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a shoal about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) east of the Amtaedo lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4215.9.

Amtaedo Light, Amtaedo
OhmyNews Creative Commons photo (no longer online)

Aphae Town (Aphaedo Area) Lighthouse
Hyojido
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); red light, pattern unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) round concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is red. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located at a junction of north-south and east-west channels off the northeast tip of Aphaedo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4216.85.

Jaeun (Jaeundo Area) District Lighthouses
Jinseomal (Chinso Mal)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory at the western tip of Jaeundo. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4211.5; NGA 17666.
Odo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 72 m (236 ft); white flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available but Naver has a satellite view and Google has a satellite view. Located on an isolated high island about 7 km (4 mi) northwest of Jaeundo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4211; NGA 17644.
Jaeundo (Chaun Do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. A photo is at right, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory at the northeastern tip of Jaeundo. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4216.5; NGA 17640.
Jinmokdo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three quick white flashes every 10 s. 13 m (43 ft) round concrete tower, painted black with one yellow horizontal band. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a shoal off the east coast of Jaeundo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4216.3.

Jaeundo Light, Jaeundo
Librewiki.net Creative Commons photo

Jeungdo District Lighthouses
Oegaldo (Oegalto)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island off the southwestern tip of Jeungdo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4210.8; NGA 17643.1.
Sinan Byeongpungdo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a reef in the passage off the east coast of Jeungdo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4216.8; NGA 17643.5.
Soakdo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); nine quick white flashes every 15 s. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower, painted yellow with one black horizontal band. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a skerry in the passage on the east side of Jeungdo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4216.6; NGA 17639.
Hwangdo (Bigyeoseom)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) round white concrete tower. The light is barely visible in an aerial photo but Google has a satellite view. Located at the western end of a small island south of Jeungdo, marking the northern approach to Mokpo, about 30 km (19 mi) northwest of the city. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4216.7; NGA 17642.

Imja District Lighthouses
Jasonyeo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); quick-flashing white light. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower, upper half painted black and lower half yellow. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a skerry about 20 km (13 mi) west southwest of Imjado. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4211.2; NGA 17644.2.
Sobichido
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 94 m (308 ft); white flash every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) octagonal white concrete tower. A photo is at right and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the northwestern end of a small island about 20 km (13 mi) northwest of Imjado. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4210.2.
Sobichido Light
Sobichido Light, Imja
Port of Mokpo photo (no longer online)
Daenorokdo (Daerorogso, Taerorok To)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 72 m (236 ft); white flash every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available but Google has a distant satellite view. Located on an island about 8 km (5 mi) west of Imjado. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4210; NGA 17712.
Sambongdan (Sambong)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available but Naver has a satellite view and Google has a satellite view. Located on a sharp promontory at the northeastern tip of Imjado. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4210.3; NGA 17714.
Jeonjangpo
2007. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) round concrete tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a shoal off the waterfront of Jeonjangpo, about 1.6 km (1 mi) southwest of the Sambongdan lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4210.25; NGA 17715.
Sudo Southeast
2006. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) octagonal white concrete tower standing on a broad octagonal concrete base. A photo is available and Google has a satellite view. Sudo is an island in the passage between Imjado on the west and Haejedo on the east. Located on the southeastern tip of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4210.38.
Sudo Southwest
2006. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); green flash every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) round green concrete tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located off the southwestern tip of the island guiding vessels in the channel between Sudo and Imjado. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4210.37.

Jido Town Lighthouses
Naedo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 5 m (16 ft); nine quick white flashes every 15 s. 5 m (16 ft) round concrete tower painted yellow with one black horizontal band. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. The tower appears taller than the listed height in satellite views. Located in a reef in the channel between Saokdo and Jido. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4210.5; NGA 17713.
Oegyodo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 4 s. 15 m (49 ft) white concrete tower. A photo is at right and Google has a satellite view. Located on Oegyodo, a small island off Dangchong village, about 8 km (5 mi) southwest of Jido. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4210.7.
Bongri
2004. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) octagonal white concrete tower standing on a broad octagonal concrete base. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island off the northwestern coast of Haejedo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4210.35.
Oegyodo Light
Oegyodo Light, Jido
Port of Mokpo photo (no longer online)

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: North Jeolla (Gunsan Area) | East: Mokpo Area | South: Central Sinan Islands

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Posted January 9, 2008. Lighthouses: 27. Checked and revised March 26, 2020. Site copyright 2020 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.