In the 10th cent. Wang Kon, founder of the Koryo dynasty, made Kaesong his capital; the city, then called Songdo, remained Korea's capital until 1392, when the Choson (or Yi) dynasty moved the capital to Seoul. Intersected by the 38th parallel, Kaesong served as the main contact point between North and South Korea from 1945 to 1951 and passed from United Nations to North Korean forces several times during the Korean War. The armistice talks, first held at Kaesong, were later transferred to Panmunjom (Panmunjeom). Historic landmarks include the tombs of several Korean kings, the old city walls, and the remains of a royal palace from the Koryo period.
The city is close to the Demilitarized Zone that divides North and South Korea. When Korea was partitioned at the 38th parallel after World War Two, Kaesong was on the southern side of the line (within the Republic of Korea). Thus Kaesong is (depending on perspective) either the only occupied South Korean City at the end of the 'Korean Police Action', or the only city liberated by the North Korean People's Army in the 'Great Fatherland Liberation War'.
In 2003, P'anmun-gun and part of Kaesŏng-si were separated from Kaesŏng Directly Governed City and merged to form Kaesŏng Industrial Region. The remaining part of Kaesŏng joined North Hwanghae in 2002.
It was formally named Songdo while it was the ancient capital of Koryo. It prospered as a trade center that produced Korean ginseng, which is famous internationally. It is now the DPRK's light industry centre.
Litigating labor rights across a demilitarized zone: the South Korean constitutional court as a forum to address labor violations in North Korea's Kaesong special economic zone.
Jan 01, 2008; Abstract: South Korea heralds North Korea's Kaesong Special Economic Zone as a shining example of inter-Korean...