Gyeonggi-do is the most populous province in South Korea. The provincial capital is located at Suwon. Seoul—South Korea's largest city and national capital— is located in the heart of the province, but has been separately administered as a provincial-level Special City since 1946.
In 1895, the province was replaced by the Districts of Hanseong (Hanseong-bu; 한성부; 漢城府) around Seoul, Kaesŏng (Kaesŏng-bu; 개성부; 開城府) around Kaesŏng, and Incheon (Incheon-bu; 인천부; 仁川府) around Incheon and Suwon, with outlying areas in the east and south becoming part of the Districts of Chuncheon (Chuncheon-bu; 춘천부; 春川府), Chungju (Chungju-bu; 충주부; 忠州府), or Gongju (Gongju-bu; 공주부; 公州府).
In 1896, a new system of thirteen provinces was established, and Gyeonggi-do was reconstituted with its pre-1895 boundaries. The provincial capital moved to Suwon, where it remains today.
At the end of the Japanese Colonial Period in 1945, Gyeonggi-do was divided into American and Soviet zones of occupation. The boundary between the American zone in the south and the Soviet zone in the north was the 38th parallel. The southern zone of Hwanghae Province—also divided by the 38th parallel—joined the southern zone of Gyeonggi-do.
In 1946, Seoul became a separately administered, provincial-level "Special City." That same year, the Soviet-controlled northern zone of Gyeonggi-do joined the northern half of Kangwŏn Province. In 1948, Gyeonggi-do became part of the newly independent country of South Korea.
In 1951, the area around Kaesŏng came under North Korean control during the Korean War, and officially came under the administration of that country at the end of hostilities in 1953. Also in 1953, the mainland section of Gyeonggi-do that had previously been part of Hwanghae Province rejoined Hwanghae. In 1981, Incheon was split off as a separately administered Directly Governed City (now called a "Metropolitan City").
Much of southern Gyeonggi-do is a plain, so the province has traditionally had more agriculture and nowadays also more industry due to the greater proportion of usable land.
The regional name for Gyeonggi-do is Sudogwon, which properly denotes the Seoul-Incheon conurbation, and that built-up part of the Gyeonggi-do Province that forms part of the same continuous urban area. During the Joseon Dynasty, regional names used for the province were Gijeon (畿甸) and Ginae (畿內).
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