Only the street name-based address system should be used in official documents starting this year, replacing land lot number-based addresses which were used for nearly a century, the Ministry of Security and Public Administration said.
The new address system, which is based on the names of streets and designated building numbers, was initially floated as an alternative system in 1997 in order to simplify the address system and make it more consistent. In recent years, however, policymakers struggled to turn it into an official system. It was only in the last two years that the old and new address systems were jointly used during a transition period.
From west to east and from south to north, buildings on the left are given odd numbers and ones on the right are assigned even numbers.
Roads with more than eight lanes are called “daero,” streets with seven lanes or fewer are “ro” and narrow streets with less than two lanes are called “gil.”
Mail sent using old addresses will still be delivered and no penalties will be charged for using the old system.
Its official implementation, scheduled for 2012, was delayed due to concerns about public confusion.
Concerns remain, however, as the majority of citizens still prefer the old and familiar address system. According to the ministry, the street name-based address system was used for only 16.55 percent of the mail as of September 2012.
The ministry has opened a emergency situation room in order to deal with any potential confusion.
The new addresses can be found via the website www.juso.go.kr or through smartphone applications.
By Lee Hyun-jeong (firstname.lastname@example.org