Pusan, southeastern South Korea

Pusan (Japanese Fusan or Husan) is the second largest South Korean city and the principal seaport in South Korea, on Korea Strait. Population (1990) 3,798,113.



Industrial establishments in the city include shipyards, railroad workshops, rubber factories, ironworks, textile mills, rice and salt refineries, and fisheries.

Pusan also spelled Busan, city, port, and capital of Kyongsang nam do (province), South Korea, at the southeast tip of the Korean Peninsula. During the Koryo dynasty (10th to late 14th century), it was named Pusanpo (Korean pu, meaning "kettle"; san, "mountain" [from the shape of the mountain behind it]; and po, "bay," or "harbour").Pusan is now the nation's largest port and second largest city. It has the status of a special city (area, 168 square miles [436 square km]) under the direct control of the home minister, with administrative status equal to that of a province.

On a deep, well-sheltered bay at the mouth of the Naktong River facing the Japanese islands of Tsushima, across the Korean Strait, Pusan was opened to the Japanese in 1876 and to general foreign trade in 1883. Under the Japanese (1910-45) the city developed into a modern port, with ferry service connecting the city with Shimonoseki, Japan, and rail lines connecting Korea to China and Russia terminating in Pusan. It now also has an international airport. The city became overpopulated with repatriates from overseas when Korea gained independence in 1945 and again with refugees during the Korean War (1950-53), when it was the temporary capital of the Republic of Korea.

The port is divided by Yong-do (island), which is connected to the mainland by drawbridge. The bigger eastern port is used for foreign trade and the smaller western
port for fishing. Industries include shipbuilding and automobile, electric, metal, ceramic, chemical, paper, and various mechanical and other manufacturing plants. Construction on the city's first subway began in 1980. Its plywood industry is the nation's largest, producing significant exports after 1961. There are two universities and seven colleges, including Pusan National University, Pusan National Fishery College, and the College of Oceanography. Bathing and hot springs are located in the northeastern suburbs, and old temples are found near the mountains. Outside the city is a cemetery honouring the United Nations soldiers who died during the Korean War. Pop. (1990 prelim.) 3,797,566.

Pusan was invaded by the Japanese in 1592. The port was opened to Japanese trade in 1876 and to general foreign commerce in 1883. After 1910, when Korea became a Japanese protectorate, the city was the center of a flourishing trade with Japan. During the Korean War (1950-53), Pusan was a major port of entry and supply depot for United Nations forces.


The port has ferry service to the Japanese port of Shimonoseki.

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