Incheon - Gateway to Seoul and the DMZ
Inchon (now spelled Incheon) is both a bustling city and a major seaport on the west coast of South Korea, about 60 to 75 minutes from Seoul. Although referred to by many as a ‘suburb of Seoul’, Inchon is an independent city of over 2.5 million, within the Free Economic Zone Authority.
Under the rule of many kingdoms and dynasties, Inchon has been known by several different names since it was first recorded in 475 AD as Michuhol. When the port was opened in 1883, it was called Jemulpo and the surrounding area, ‘Inchon-gun’. By the Second World War when the city became the sight of a Japanese prisoner of war camp, it was generally referred to as Inchon. On September 15, 1950, its shores were the sight of the ‘Battle of Inchon’, when U.S. troops landed here, launching a United Nations offensive northward. The Demilitarized Zone and its Third Tunnel take visitors back in time 50 years.
Today, Inchon is known as a transportation and business and finance centre. The new Incheon Tower, to be completed in 2010 will be one of the largest buildings in the world. New Songdo City, being constructed on reclaimed land, is planned to be an eco-friendly and international trade centre on Inchon’s outskirts. Jayu Park, with General Douglas MacArthur’s statue, is home to the memorial which commemorates the centennial anniversary of U.S. and South Korean relations.