Last updated
Ulsan Metropolitan City
   Hangul 울산 광역시
   Hanja 蔚山 廣域市
   Revised Romanization Ulsan gwang-yeoksi
   McCune-Reischauer Ulsan gwangyŏksi
Ulsan montage.png
Top: View of downtown Yaeum-dong area
Middle: Samsan-dong downtown area (left), Iaan Expodium Tower (right)
Bottom: Ganjeolgot (left), Taehwagang Train Station (right)
Flag of Ulsan.svg
Symbol of Ulsan.svg
CountryFlag of South Korea.svg  South Korea
Region Yeongnam
Districts5 (including 1 county)
  Type Mayor–Council
   Mayor Song Cheol-ho
  Body Ulsan Metropolitan Council
  Total1,057.136 km2 (408.162 sq mi)
 (October, 2014)
  Rank 8th Korea
  Density1,100/km2 (2,900/sq mi)
Area code(s) +82-52
ISO 3166 code KR-31
Flower Pear flower
Tree Ginkgo
Bird White heron
GDP USD $67.8 billion (2017)
GDP per capita (nominal) USD $65,093 (IMF, 2017)
GDP per capita (PPP) Int $80,058 (2017)
Website Official website (English)

Ulsan (Korean pronunciation:  [uɭ.s͈an] ), officially the Ulsan Metropolitan City is South Korea's seventh-largest metropolitan city and the eighth-largest city overall, with a population of over 1.1 million inhabitants. [1] It is located in the south-east of the country, neighboring Busan to the south and facing Gyeongju to the north.


Ulsan is the industrial powerhouse of South Korea, forming the heart of the Ulsan Industrial District. It has the world's largest automobile assembly plant operated by the Hyundai Motor Company; [2] the world's largest shipyard, operated by Hyundai Heavy Industries; [3] and the world's third largest oil refinery, owned by SK Energy. [4] In 2020, Ulsan had a GDP per capita of $65,352, the highest of any region in South Korea.

Administrative divisions

Ulsan is divided into four gu (districts) and one gun (county):


Stone tools found at the Mugeo-dong Ok-hyeon archaeological site indicates that Ulsan was inhabited by humans at least as early as the Paleolithic Era. Other findings indicated human inhabitation in the Neolithic Era. Ulsan also contains a substantial number of town remains from the Bronze Age. [5] During the Jinhan confederacy, Ulsan was a site of iron mining and production. [6] In the Later Silla period, Ulsan served as an important port for the economic hub of Gyeongju, and likely saw the import of luxury Persian goods such as silver, glass, and peacock tails. [7]

Records from the Joseon Dynasty show that Ulsan was developed as a shipbuilding site as early as 1642. [8]


Planned industrial development for the Ulsan Industrial Zone 1962. UlsanIndustrialCenter Map-Plan 1962.jpg
Planned industrial development for the Ulsan Industrial Zone 1962.
Ulsan Central market entrance. Ulsan Central market entrance.jpg
Ulsan Central market entrance.

As the centre of the Ulsan Industrial District, the city is the corporate base of the multinational Hyundai conglomerate. Up to 1962, Ulsan operated as a fishing port and market centre. As part of South Korea's first five-year economic plan, Ulsan became an open port. Additionally, the government designated Ulsan as a Special Industrial District, [9] which encouraged development of major industrial plants and factories: an oil refinery, fertilizer plants, automobile production, and heavy industries were developed here. The shipbuilding port Bangeojin was annexed by the city in 1962.


Hyundai Group founded Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan in 1973, which effectively turned the city into a company town and drew a large influx of workers into the city. [10] The company's importance to the city can be seen in its name's omnipresence, with a highway named after Hyundai's founder, and the hospital, school, theater, as well as many restaurants and department stores bearing the Hyundai name. [11]

Amid a global downturn in shipbuilding, Hyundai Heavy Industries sold $1 billion of assets and laid off large numbers of employees in 2016. [12] The company borrowed money from the state-run Korea Development Bank in order to purchase Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, forming Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, with plans to move corporate headquarters to Seoul. [13] Some view this downturn as an indicator of South Korea's over-reliance on chaebols, and fear that a period of deindustrialization for Ulsan mirroring the United States' Rust Belt could be on the horizon. [14]


The city has the world's third largest [ citation needed ] oil refinery with 840,000 BPD, owned by SK Energy South Korea no.3 S-oil refinery complex with 669,000BPD and 1.7million PX plant of world single largest facility,39,000BPD lubricant base oil owned by Saudi Aramco is also in Ulsan. [4]


Ulsan is the home of the world's largest automobile assembly plant of 300,000 annual capacity 5 assembly plants, proving ground and in-house peers, operated by Hyundai Motors started 50,000 capacity in 1968 now 30 times expansion of massive motor top complex in the world with own export piers with logistics competitiveness. [2] Its integrated design of related functions was inspired by the Ford River Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan.

Lithium-ion battery manufacture

In November 2011, SB LiMotive opened an advanced lithium-ion battery production plant in Ulsan. SB LiMotive was a 50-50 consortium of Samsung SDI and Robert Bosch GmbH. [15] [16] [17] In September 2012, Samsung SDI purchased the Robert Bosch GmbH portion of SB LiMotive for $95 million to gain 100% ownership of the Ulsan production facility. [18] The Ulsan plant is one of Samsung SDI's trio of advanced car-battery production facilities. [19] [20]


The city transport department plans to build a light-rail line. The public transportation system is as good as any other major Korean city. The bus system shows a specific ETA at most bus stops. [21]

Ulsan Airport, constructed in 1970 and expanded in 1997, has more than 20 flights per day to and from Seoul's Gimpo International Airport and 4 flights per week to and from Jeju International Airport. In November 2010, Korea's high-speed train network, the KTX, was extended to Ulsan. [22] This provides a high-speed link to Seoul, with a running time of just over 2 hours. The new KTX station (Ulsan Station) is in nearby Eonyang, with a series of express buses (5001-5005), as well as some city buses serving the new station. [23] The original city station has been renamed Taehwa River Station. [22]


Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium. Munsu 20121110 204310 5.jpg
Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium.

The city hosts the K League 1 football club Ulsan Hyundai FC. After the 2002 FIFA World Cup, they relocated from their former stadium in Jung-gu, which is now a municipal ground, to the Munsu Stadium, which hosted several matches during the 2002 World Cup. The club have been crowned champions of Asia twice, winning the AFC Champions League in 2012 and 2020. Ulsan was home to another football team, Ulsan Hyundai Mipo Dolphin FC, which played in the Korea National League until 2016, when it was dissolved.

It is also home to the University of Ulsan and its sports programs. Ulsan also hosts Korean Basketball League team Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus. Their home ground is Dongchun Gymnasium, which located in jung-gu ulsan. [24]


Ulsan is bounded on the east by the Sea of Japan. Busan is 70 km (43 mi) to the south.


Ulsan has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa/Cwa), with cold but dry winters, and hot, humid summers. Monthly means range from 2.0 °C (35.6 °F) in January to 25.9 °C (78.6 °F) in August, with diurnal temperature ranges generally low. Its location on the Korean peninsula results in a seasonal lag. The warmest days occur in August and averaging very near 30 °C (86 °F). Precipitation is relatively low in the winter months, but there is high rainfall from April to September.

Climate data for Ulsan (1981–2010, extremes 1931–present)
Record high °C (°F)19.3
Average high °C (°F)7.3
Daily mean °C (°F)2.0
Average low °C (°F)−2.3
Record low °C (°F)−14.3
Average precipitation mm (inches)34.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)
Average snowy days1.
Average relative humidity (%)49.651.957.660.366.173.378.977.775.767.259.952.464.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 190.7176.4187.5207.2215.4172.7151.5167.3150.0193.7182.0194.62,188.8
Percent possible sunshine 61.257.450.652.849.539.634.240.040.355.358.864.049.2
Source: Korea Meteorological Administration [25] [26] [27] (percent sunshine and snowy days) [28]


Tourist attractions

Yeongnam Alps

There are seven tall mountains (Gajisan, Sinbulsan, Ganwolsan, Cheonhwangsan, Yeongchuksan, Goheonsan, Jaeyaksan) over 1,000m above sea level. Sinbulsan (MT.) Ridge, where grasses turn silver in autumn, is one of the best sights to see in the Yeongnam Alps. Eoksae festival is held every early October in Ganwoljae, which is best known for its colony of silver grass.

Oegosan Onggi village

Korea's largest traditional folk Onggi (earthware) village is Oegosan. The traditional Onggi (earthware) manufacturing process is carried on here and is open to tourists, including Onggi workshops and kilns. The Ulsan Onggi museum offers a variety of information related to Onggi and displays a diversity of this earthware.

Jangsaengpo Whale museum & Whale Ecological Experience Hall

As the only whale museum in Korea, Jangsaengpo whale museum collects, maintains and displays whaling-related artifacts. They have become more rare since 1986, when whaling was internationally prohibited in order to protect the species. The museum provides a variety of information related to whales and marine ecosystems; it is a space for education, research and experience. Whale cruises depart from Jangsaengpo port.

Grand Park and National Garden

Industrial tour

Ulsan Industry Park has been leading the Pacific Rim industry in the 21st century. Ulsan has Hyundai Motor Company, with the world's largest single-purpose plant; Hyundai Heavy Industries, the biggest heavy industry leader in the world; Hyundai Mipo Shipbuilding, and Petrochemical Park, leaders in Korea's chemistry industry.

Coast trip

Ulsan has beautiful beaches (Jinha, Ilsan). Daewangam Park features a lush, hundred-year-old pine forest. Ganjeolgot Cape is noted as the first place to see the sunrise from the Korean peninsula. A sunrise festival is held every New Year's Day.


In media

Ulsan is one of the filming locations of the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation 2012 South Korean television melodrama series May Queen , starring Han Ji-hye, Kim Jae-won, and Jae Hee.

Twin towns – sister cities

[29] [30]

Hagi Yamaguchi Prefecture Flag of Japan.svg Japan1981
Portland Oregon Flag of the United States.svg United States1987
Changchun Jilin Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China1994
Kocaeli Province Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey2002
Santos São Paulo Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil2002
Khánh Hòa Province Flag of Vietnam.svg Vietnam2002
Tomsk Tomsk Oblast Flag of Russia.svg Russia2003
Wuxi Jiangsu Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China2006
Montevideo Montevideo Department Flag of Uruguay.svg Uruguay2012
Chennai Tamil Nadu Flag of India.svg India2016
Mandalay Mandalay Region Flag of Myanmar.svg Myanmar2017

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

Hyundai Motor Group South Korean multinational conglomerate

The Hyundai Motor Group is a South Korean chaebol headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. The largest member of the chaebol, Hyundai Motor Company, has a controlling stake in Kia Corporation, and they are the largest and second largest car manufacturers in the country respectively.

Hyundai Heavy Industries South Korean shipbuilding and heavy equipment company

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. is the world's largest shipbuilding company. Its headquarters are in Ulsan, South Korea. HHI was founded in 1972 by Chung Ju-yung as a division of the Hyundai Group, and in 1974, completed building its first ships. In 2002, the company was spun-off from its parent company. HHI has four core business divisions: Shipbuilding, Offshore & Engineering, Industrial Plant & Engineering, and Engine & Machinery. HHI also has five non-core related subsidiaries: Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems, Hyundai Construction Equipment, Hyundai Robotics, Hyundai Heavy Industries Green Energy, and Hyundai Global Service.

Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd. KRX: 000720 is a major construction company in South Korea. The company was founded by Chung Ju-yung in 1947 as the Hyundai Civil Works Company and was a major component of the Hyundai Group. Hyundai Construction and Hyundai Engineering merged in 1999.

Ulsan Hyundai FC Professional association football club based in Ulsan, South Korea

Ulsan Hyundai FC is a South Korean professional football club based in Ulsan, owned by the South Korean corporation Hyundai Heavy Industries. Established on 6 December 1983, they joined the K League in 1984 as Hyundai Horang-i. The home ground of the team is Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium.

Göd Town in Central Hungary, Hungary

Göd is a small city in Pest County, Hungary.

Southeastern Maritime Industrial Region Place in South Korea ----

The Southeastern Maritime Industrial Region, centered on the harbor cities of Busan and Ulsan, is the Republic of Korea's second largest metropolitan area in terms of population and is the second-most developed region as well. It is also an industrial region for shipbuilding, international trade, and heavy industries, such as car making and chemical producing.

Hyundai Galloper Motor vehicle

The Hyundai Galloper, also known as the Galloper Exceed, Galloper Innovation, Mitsubishi Galloper or Asia Galloper, is a full-size SUV manufactured by the South Korean manufacturer Hyundai from 1991 to 2004. It was a rebadged first and second generation Mitsubishi Pajero and was assembled at the Hyundai Precision Industry, Co. Ltd. factory in the City of Ulsan's Buk-gu, Yeompo-dong neighborhood until July 31, 1999, when Hyundai Motor Company took over the plant and production. It is almost identical to the Mitsubishi Pajero, a five-passenger vehicle with additional seating for 2 in the back, increasing its capacity to a full seven passenger vehicle. It was available with a 3-door body on a short wheelbase for the Galloper 4WD and Galloper Innovation 4WD models or 5-door body on long wheelbase for the Galloper I/II Exceed models.

Hyundai Mobis South Korean company

Hyundai Mobis is a public South Korean car parts company. Founded as Hyundai Precision & Industries Corporation in 1977, the company forms the "parts and service" arm for the South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor Company, Genesis Motors and Kia Motors. As of 2014, it was the "world's No. 6 automotive supplier."

Hyundai Hysco

Hyundai Hysco, or HYSCO is a steel company of Hyundai Motor Group, established in 1975, and headquartered in Ulsan, South Korea. They are a manufacturer of automotive steel sheet products and various steel pipes. Its corporate office is located in Seoul, and it also operates in Ulsan in South Korea with operations worldwide. Currently, Hyundai Hysco operates a steel pipe facility in Korea, eleven overseas processing centers, and three overseas offices internationally.

Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. is one of the largest shipbuilders in the world and one of the "Big Three" shipbuilders of South Korea. Geoje is one of the largest shipyards in the world, having 3 dry docks and 5 floating docks. A core subsidiary of the Samsung Group, South Korea's largest conglomerate, SHI's main focus is on the engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and the delivery of: transportation ships for the commercial industry, topsides modules, drilling and floating production units for the oil and gas sector, gantry cranes for fabrication yards, digital instrumentation and control devices for ships, and other construction and engineering services.

Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries

Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. is the world's 4th largest shipbuilder and produces approximately 40 vessels per year. Its yard is located in Samho-eup, Yeongam, South Korea.

Oh Jang-eun South Korean footballer

Oh Jang-Eun is a football player from South Korea. He was selected to play for Asian Cup 2007, replacing Kim Nam-Il after his injury.

Nam District, Ulsan Autonomous District in Yeongnam, South Korea

Nam District (Nam-gu) is a district of Ulsan, South Korea. Its name literally means "South Ward".

The 2011 season was Ulsan Hyundai FC's twenty-eighth season in the K-League in South Korea. Ulsan Hyundai FC will be competing in K-League, League Cup and Korean FA Cup.

The 2011 season was Pohang Steelers's twenty-ninth season in the K-League in South Korea. Pohang Steelers will be competing in K-League, League Cup and Korean FA Cup.

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, simply referred to as UNIST, is one of the four public universities in South Korea which are dedicated to research in science and technology, along with KAIST, GIST, and DGIST. UNIST was founded in 2007 in response to growing demand for higher education in the Korean industrial capital of Ulsan, where world-renowned automotive, shipbuilding, petrochemical, and secondary cells industries are clustered. At the time of its foundation, UNIST was known for being the first national university in South Korea to be incorporated and thus administered by an independent board of trustees despite being funded by the central government.

The 2012 Korean FA Cup, known as the Hana Bank FA Cup for sponsorship reasons, was the 17th edition of Korean FA Cup. 2012 KFA Cup will begin on 17 March 2011. The cup winner were guaranteed a place in the 2013 AFC Champions League.

Jangsaengpo is a port located in Nam-gu, Ulsan, South Korea. It was famous of the hottest whaling place of Korean Peninsula before banning commercial whaling by IWC. Now, Jangsaengpo is a rising tourist attraction with Jangsaengpo whale museum, Whale ecological Experience Hall & Ulsan whale cruise.

Samsung South Korean multinational conglomerate

The Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational manufacturing conglomerate headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea. It comprises numerous affiliated businesses, most of them united under the Samsung brand, and is the largest South Korean chaebol. As of 2020, Samsung has the 8th highest global brand value.

Woo Ji-won South Korean basketball player

Woo Ji-won is a South Korean male professional basketball player. In 2010, the Korean Basketball League retired his number 10 shirt.


  1. "SOUTH KOREA: Cities (registered population)". Citypopulation. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  2. 1 2 연합뉴스 : 바른언론 빠른뉴스 (in Korean). Yonhap News. 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  3. 천혜 절경 바닷가가 세계 최대 조선소로 변모 - 오마이뉴스. Ohmynews.com. 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  4. 1 2 http://pda.ulsan.go.kr/Common/Detail.neo?id=U0010711%5B%5D
  5. Su-Il, Jeong (2016). The Silk Road Encyclopedia. Irvine, CA: Seoul Selection. ISBN   978-1624120664.
  6. "Iron Culture of Ancient Korea". Korean Heritage. Cultural Heritage Administration. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  7. "Gyeongju". Silk Roads. UNESCO. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  8. "Port of Ulsan review". World Port Source. World Port Source. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  9. Jacobs, A. J. (2 November 2011). "Ulsan, South Korea: A Global and Nested 'Great' Industrial City" (PDF). The Open Urban Studies Journal. 4: 8–18. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 October 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  10. Yeon-Soo, Kwak (8 May 2019). "Hyundai Heavy hit by protest from Ulsan". The Korea Times. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  11. Evans, Stephen (30 May 2015). "Heavy metal: Life at the world's largest shipyard". BBC News. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  12. In-Soo, Nam (9 May 2016). "Hyundai Heavy Industries to sell $1 billion in assets, cut jobs as orders slump". MarketWatch. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  13. Yeon-Soo, Kwak (9 May 2019). "Hyundai Heavy hit by protests from Ulsan". The Korea Times. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  14. Jin, Hyunjoo (12 August 2018). "Empty shipyards and suicides as 'Hyundai Town' grapples with grim future". Reuters. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  15. "SB Limotive Starts Production of Lithium-Ion Cells". EngeryTrend. November 11, 2010. Archived from the original on 2017-10-02. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  16. Lee, Eun-joo (November 10, 2010). "SB LiMotive starts lithium-ion battery plant". Korea JoongAng Daily . Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  17. Kim, Tae-gyu (June 13, 2011). "Bosch plans to expand joint venture with Samsung". Korea Times . Retrieved May 15, 017.
  18. "Bosch and Samsung SDI disbanding the SB LiMotive Li-ion joint venture". Green Car Congress . September 5, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  19. "SB Limotive Starts Production of Lithium-Ion Cells". Energy Trend. November 11, 2011. Archived from the original on 2017-10-02. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  20. Morris, Charles (March 9, 2015). "Sources say Samsung to provide battery packs for BMW X5". Charged. Yonhap . Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  21. "Welcome to Ulsan Metropolitan City - News and Notice". Ulsan City Council. Archived from the original on 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  22. 1 2 Ulsan-Seoul high-speed train service to start in November. Koreatimes.co.kr (2010-10-05). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  23. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2010-12-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ulsan mobis phoebus basketball team, ulsan mobis phoebus basketball team (2016-04-14). "ulsan mobis phoebus basketball team".
  25. 평년값자료(1981–2010) 울산(152) (in Korean). Korea Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  26. 기후자료 극값(최대값) 전체년도 일최고기온 (℃) 최고순위, 울산(152) (in Korean). Korea Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  27. 기후자료 극값(최대값) 전체년도 일최저기온 (℃) 최고순위, 울산(152) (in Korean). Korea Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  28. "Climatological Normals of Korea" (PDF). Korea Meteorological Administration. 2011. p. 499 and 649. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 December 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  29. "Ulsan Metropolitan City". ulsan.go.kr. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03.
  30. "Mandalay and Ulsan". Archived from the original on 2017-09-16.

Coordinates: 35°33′N129°19′E / 35.550°N 129.317°E / 35.550; 129.317

  1. 2015년 인구주택총조사 전수집계결과 보도자료 [2015 Population and Housing Census]. Statistics Korea.