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South Korea Postal Code Format: A Guide to Sending Letters and Parcels

South Korea Postal Code Format: A Guide to Sending Letters and Parcels

Sending letters or parcels to South Korea requires knowledge of the country’s zip code format and proper addressing. The South Korean post service has specific guidelines to ensure efficient delivery. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of the South Korea zip code format, how to correctly write addresses, and the procedures for sending items to South Korea. Whether you are a business owner, a traveler, or simply someone who wants to connect with friends or family in South Korea, understanding the postal system is essential. Let’s dive into the details.


FROM 1970-1988

South Korea’s first postal code was introduced on July 1, 1970. Individual codes were provided for each post office distribution area, using an nnn-nn numeric format (e.g., 120-01 represented Susaek-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul). Unlike current postal coding provided by administrative districts, the 1970 system was implemented based upon a post office’s railroad line; this often led to inconsistencies in post codes relative to their administrative areas.

Large post offices used a three-digit postal code, and small offices a five-digit code

FROM 1988-2000

Postal codes became six digits long on February 1, 1988. They were grouped by administrative areas as reflected by district reorganization and highway transportation networks.

These codes utilized an nnn-nnn format; the first three digits represented, in order, the metropolitan administrative district (large city, metropolitan area, province, special autonomous area, etc.), the resident’s neighborhood or ward, and a specific city, county, or district.



The last three digits matched the code to the recipient. They were assigned based on a postman’s delivery route. These sub-codes were divided into statutory dongs and administrative dongs, followed by myeons, and then by buildings and/or mailboxes.

FROM 2000-2015

On May 1, 2000, postal codes were assigned to each delivery agent’s postal area to facilitate easier distribution. This system relied upon the codes assigned in 1988. New postal codes were subdivided to match each postman’s delivery area, taking into account the introduction of automated mail sorting equipment.


South Korea Postal Codes are regulated by the Universal Postal Union as well as Global Zip Codes. The six-digit postal code was abolished on August 1, 2015, to be replaced with the current five-digit system that uses a simpler nnnnn format as Vietnam Zip Codes


Zip codes or postal codes are specific identification numbers given to the specific neighborhood in which your place is located. Starting from 2015, 5-digit numbers are used as zip codes in Korea, replacing the old 6-digit zip codes.

The 5-digit district number assigned based on the geographic features (roads, rivers, railroads, etc.) and assigned to each State Basic District will replace the existing 6-digit postal code created based on the administrative units (Eup, Myeon and Dong) and the districts assigned to each postman.


Understanding the South Korea Zip Code Format

The South Korea zip code format consists of a five-digit numerical code, which is similar to many other countries’ postal systems. However, what sets South Korea apart is its unique approach to dividing the country into zones. The first two digits of the zip code represent larger regions, such as provinces or major cities. For example:

  • Seoul: 02
  • Busan: 61
  • Incheon: 40

The remaining three digits provide more specific information about districts, neighborhoods, or even individual buildings within those larger regions. Here’s an example of a complete South Korean zip code: 12345. In this case, “12” represents a certain region, while “345” pinpoints the exact location within that region.

How to Write an Address for South Korea

To ensure accurate delivery of your letters or parcels in South Korea, it is crucial to write the address correctly. Here is the recommended format:

Recipient's Name
Building Number, Street Name
South Korea
Zip Code: XXXXX

Let’s break down each component further:

  • Recipient’s Name: Provide the full name of the person you are sending the item to. Use the family name (surname) first, followed by the given name.
  • Building Number and Street Name: Include the specific building number and street name where the recipient resides or operates their business.
  • Neighborhood/District: Specify the neighborhood or district within the city. This helps narrow down the location further.
  • City: Write the name of the city where the recipient is located. It can be a major city like Seoul or a smaller city within a province.
  • Province/Region: Indicate the province or region where the city is situated. This information provides additional context for efficient delivery.
  • South Korea: Clearly mention “South Korea” as the country of destination to avoid any confusion during international transit.
  • Zip Code: Fill in the correct South Korea zip code for the precise location. Refer to official sources or postal directories to obtain the accurate code.

Example Address:

Mr. Park Ji-hoon
1234, Maple Avenue
South Korea
Zip Code: 12345

By following this format diligently, you can ensure your mail reaches the intended recipient without delay.

Sending Letters and Parcels to South Korea: Step-by-Step Guide

Sending letters or parcels to South Korea involves several steps. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process smoothly:

  1. Prepare your item: Package your letter or parcel securely. Use appropriate packaging materials to protect the contents during transit. Consider customs regulations and restrictions for international shipments.
  1. Address your item: Follow the address format mentioned earlier to write the recipient’s address accurately on the package. Ensure legibility and avoid any mistakes while writing the address.
  1. Choose a shipping method: Select a suitable shipping method based on your preferences, budget, and urgency. Options include international courier services, postal services, or even online platforms that facilitate global shipping.
  1. Complete necessary customs forms: If you are sending a package from outside South Korea, you will likely need to fill out customs forms. Provide accurate information about the contents, value, and purpose of the shipment to comply with customs regulations.
  1. Pay for shipping: Pay the required shipping fees at the chosen shipping service provider. The cost may vary depending on the weight, dimensions, destination, and chosen delivery speed.
  1. Track your shipment: Once your item is dispatched, keep track of its progress using the tracking number provided by the shipping service. This allows you to monitor its journey and ensure it reaches its destination on time.
  1. Delivery to South Korea: Depending on the shipping method and service chosen, your package will undergo customs clearance upon arrival in South Korea. Customs officials will inspect the contents and assess any applicable duties or taxes. Cooperate with customs requirements to facilitate a smooth clearance process.
  1. Final delivery: After customs clearance, the South Korean post service or the chosen courier will handle the final leg of the delivery process. The package will be routed to the local post office or courier’s distribution center closest to the recipient’s address. From there, it will be delivered to the recipient’s doorstep.

By following these steps, you can successfully send letters and parcels to South Korea, ensuring efficient and reliable delivery.

Pros and Cons of Using the South Korean Post Service

Like any postal service, the South Korean post service has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s examine them below:


  1. Wide coverage: The South Korean post service has an extensive network that covers the entire country. It ensures that even remote areas receive mail and packages promptly.
  1. Reliability: The South Korean post service is known for its reliability and efficiency in delivering letters and parcels within South Korea.
  1. Affordability: Sending mail through the South Korean post service is generally more cost-effective compared to international courier services.
  1. Convenience: Local post offices are easily accessible, making it convenient to send and receive mail for both individuals and businesses.


  1. International transit time: When sending items from overseas, the transit time can vary depending on the distance and customs clearance procedures. It may take longer compared to express courier services.
  1. Language barriers: If you are unfamiliar with the Korean language, communicating with postal officials or understanding any notifications can be challenging.

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