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Daegu formerly spelled Taegu, and officially known as the Daegu Metropolitan City, is a city in South Korea, the fourth largest after Seoul, Busan, and Incheon, and the third largest metropolitan area in the nation with over 2.5 million residents. Daegu is the principal city of the surrounding North Gyeongsang Province. The two areas combined are often referred to as Daegu-Gyeongbuk, with a total population of over 5 million. Daegu is located in south-eastern Korea about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the seacoast, near the Geumho River and its mainstream, Nakdong River in Gyeongsang-do. The Daegu basin, where the city lies, is the central plain of the Yeongnam region. In ancient times, there was a proto-country named Jinhan, to which the current Daegu area belonged. Later Daegu was part of the Silla Kingdomwhich unified the Korean Peninsula. During the Joseon Dynasty period, the city was the capital of Gyeongsang-do which was one of the traditional eight provinces of the country. Daegu was an economic motor of Korea during the 1960s–1980s period and was especially known for its electronics industry. The humid subtropical climate of Daegu is ideal for producing high quality apples, thus the nickname, “Apple City”. Daegu is also known as “Textile City”. Textile used to be the pillar industry of the city. With the establishment of the Daegu-Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone, Daegu is currently focusing on fostering fashion and high-tech industries. Daegu was the host city of the 22nd World Energy Congress of 2013, the 2011 World Championships in Athletics and the 2003 Summer Universiade. It also hosted four matches in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Area: 883.6 km²

Population: Estimate 2.5 million

Currency

  • The won (/wɒn/; Korean: 원; symbol: ₩; code: KRW) or the Korean Republic Won is the currency of South Korea. A single won is divided into 100 jeon, the monetary subunit. The jeon is no longer used for everyday transactions, and appears only in foreign exchange rates.

 Economy

Daegu is a manufacturing industry city. The major industries are textiles, metals and machinery. In the year 2010, Daegu had a regional GDP of $45,387 million with 7.2% real GDP growth rate. The GDP per capital though is well below Korea national average. The quality of the apples grown around the city is renowned around Korea . Many companies such as Daegu Bank, Korea Delphi, Hwasung corp., and TaeguTec are situated in this city, and Samsung and Kolon were founded here. Numerous factories are located in the industrial complexes situated in the west and north sides of the city including the Seongseo Industrial Complex, West Daegu Industrial Complex and the Daegu Dyeing Industrial Complex. The city is the economic and industrial core of the Daegu-Gyeongbuk region, one of the major industrial areas in Korea. It accounted for as much as 94 percent of Korea’s trade surplus in 2006. The electronics industries in Gumi and the steel industries in Pohang provided great services to that surplus. World-leading manufacturing facilities for Anycall(Samsung Mobile) and POSCO’s main factories are located near the city. Daegu and its neighbouring cities were designated for the Daegu-Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone by the central government in 2008. It is specialized companies like Winitech software company in knowledge-based service and manufacturing industries. Historically, Daegu has been the commercial center of the southern part of the Korean Peninsula with Seoul in the center and Pyongyang in the north (currently North Korea), because of its advantageous location. Some of the large, traditional markets like Seomun Market are still flourishing in the city. Additionally, Daegu was considered the third major economic city in Korea, after Seoul and Busan. However, due to the decline of the textile industry, which is the heart of Daegu’s economy, the overall economic growth of the city has also fallen. Also, the city is the warmest region in South Korea due to the humid subtropical climate. This climate condition provides the region with high quality apples and oriental melons. The fruit industry is a crucial support for the local economy. Due to the stagnant economy, Daegu’s population began to decrease after 2003. Recently, the local government has begun focusing on working towards economic revival and concentrating on improving the city’s fashion industry.

Fashion industry

Beginning in the late 1990s, Daegu has been actively making efforts to promote its fashion industry based on its textile and clothing manufacturing industries under the ‘Daegu: Fashion City’. The city opens many exhibitions related to the fashion and textile industries including the Daegu Fashion Fair and Preview in Daegu annually or semi-annually, and invites national institutes. A large new town specializing in the textile-fashion industries is currently under construction in Bongmu-dong, northeastern Daegu. The district, officially named Esiapolis, takes aim at the fashion hub of East Asia. Textile complexes, textile-fashion institutions, an international school, fashion malls as well as residential areas plan to be developed in the district.

Language

Korean, also called Hangul (한국말), is the official language of both North and South Korea. The Hanguk dialect is spoken is South Korea.

Health

South Korea has the world’s third highest health adjusted life expectancy after Japan and Singapore and 11th highest life expectancy overall in the world. South Korea maintains an affordable and accessible universal healthcare system that is rated as the world’s fourth most efficient healthcare system as of 2016 after Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain by BloombergSome large university hospitals make the city the medical hub of south-eastern Korea. The Kyungpook National University Hospital, founded as Daegu-dongin-uiwon in 1907 by the Japanese, is the well-known hospital in the city. The Dongsan Hospital (attached to Keimyung University), founded as Jejungwon in 1899, is one of the oldest western style medical clinics in Korea. The Yeungnam University Medical Center has the largest number of beds in the city. The yearly treatment amount of these tertiary hospitals is the second largest in South Korea after that of Seoul. The Daegu Catholic University Medical Center is also included in them.

Politics

There are two local governments in the city, the Daegu Metropolitan Government in Jung District and Gyeongbuk Provincial Government in Buk District. The provincial government will be relocated to Andong in its proper province, Gyeongbuk. The mayor and heads of city’s eight districts are directly elected by the citizens every four years. The city council has twenty nine members which consist of twenty six from the same number of electoral districts and three proportional representations. They are also directly elected every four years. Most of them are the members of the Saenuri Party, the main conservative political party in South Korea. Daegu is the home to the party and has produced two Presidents of the Republic of Korea thus far: Roh Tae-woo and Park Geun-hye. As the capital of the Korean conservatives, the city has wielded strong political influence in elections.

Religion

According to the census of 2005, of the people of Daegu 33.4% follow Buddhism and 20.2% follow Christianity (10.4% Protestantism and 9.8%Catholicism). 46.4% of the population is mostly not religious or follow other indigenous religions.

Transport

Rail

Daegu is the hub of the Korean inland railroad traffic. The main railroad of the country, Gyeongbu Line passes through the city. The largest railroad station in the city, Dongdaegu Station has the second largest passenger traffic in Korea after Seoul Station, and the largest train traffic. The station re-opened in 2004 after extensive renovations serving the KTX highspeed train, Saemaul and Mugunghwa trains. All kinds of trains except KTX depart from Daegu Station, an all-new building with cinemas, restaurants and a department store, located near the city centre. It has the tenth largest passenger traffic in Korea. Daegu Line branches off from Gacheon Station of Gyeongbu Line.

Metro

Map of the rapid transit of Daegu. The red line is line 1, and the green is line 2. The city also has a metro system, consisting of two heavy rail lines. Line 1 crosses the city from northeast to southwest, while Line 2 crosses from west to east. Line 3 from northwest to southeast is an elevated monorail. All the lines are and will be operated by the Daegu Metropolitan Transit Corporation (DTRO). Another line will operate in a few years as a heavy rail system using the Gumi–Daegu–Gyeongsan section of Gyeongbu Line. Line 4 is a long-range plan and will be a circle line. Fare is 1200 won on distance and 1100 won with a prepaid card. There is a free interchange scheme between the metro and bus within an hour of first use for the prepaid card users.

Road

There are two types of buses which are local and limited express. Limited express buses have more seats, but often passengers are required to stand. As of 2008, Local bus fare costs around 1100 won, Limited express bus fare would set you back around 1500 won. Discounted fare is available with a prepaid card. Bus route numbers are made up with 3 digits, each number indicates the area that bus serves. For example, number 407 bus runs from zone four, to zone zero, and then to zone seven. Other routes, usually circular, are named for the districts they serve and numbered 1 through 3. Traffic is sometimes heavy, however, the major thoroughfares handle fairly high volumes of traffic without too much trouble.

Air

Daegu is served by Daegu Airport (international/domestic) located in northeastern Daegu.

Weather

The mountains that comprise the basin trap hot and humid air. Similarly, in winter, cold air lies in the basin. The area receives little precipitation except during the rainy season of summer, and is sunny throughout much of the year. Data gathered since 1961 indicates that the mean temperature for January, the coldest month in Daegu, is 0.6 °C (33 °F) and that for August, the warmest month, is 26.4 °C (80 °F). The City’s lowest record temperature was −20.2 °C (−4 °F), and the City’s highest record temperature was 40.0 °C (104 °F).