Photo: Gyeonggi-do Province governor Kim Dong-yeon. Credit: Gyeonggi-do Province.
More of than a quarter of all South Koreans - or 14m - live in Gyeonggi-do Province 경기도, the province that surrounds Seoul. But there is a stark divide between the northern and southern halves of the province, which are separated by Seoul and Incheon 인천 in the middle.
Southern Gyeonggi-do Province is an extension of Seoul’s wealthy Gangnam 강남 area, with tech companies like Naver 네이버 and Krafton 크래프톤 fueling the prosperous cities of Seongnam 성남 and Pangyo 판교. Meanwhile, the northern Gyeonggi-do Province is less developed (although the cities of Goyang 고양 and Paju 파주 stand as exception) as it abuts the demilitarized zone.
In light of the differences between the two regions, Gyeonggi-do Province governor Kim Dong-yeon 김동연 has proposed that the province be split in two. In a recent poll conducted by Global Research 글로벌리서치, a majority of Gyeonggi-do residents, 55%, agreed with the proposal. Residents of the northern half of the Gyeonggi-do Province were more enthusiastic about the proposal, with 65.2% in favor - but even southern residents generally approved, with 51.4% supporting the creation of a new province.