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Incheon or Inchon (ĭnˈchän, Korean ēnchən) [key], city (1995 pop. 2,307,618), Gyeonggi (Kyonggi) prov., NW South Korea, on the Yellow Sea (or West Sea). The country's second largest port, Incheon has an ice-free harbor (protected by a tidal basin) and is the port and commercial center for Seoul. Incheon's economy is heavily dependent on shipping and the transshipment of goods. Incheon is one of South Korea's major industrial centers: iron, steel, coke, light metals, plate-glass, textiles, chemicals, and lumber are among its manufactures. Fishing is also an important industry. Large salt fields have been developed in the tidal flats off Incheon. Increasing urbanization and subway and expressway links with Seoul have made Incheon and Seoul into one large urban region, and the city is the site of a new international airport (2001) serving the area. The city was opened to foreign trade in 1883. It was called Jinsen by the Japanese, who ruled Korea from 1905 to 1945. During the Korean War, U.S. troops landed at Incheon (Sept. 15, 1950) to relieve pressure on the Busan (Pusan) perimeter and to launch the subsequent UN drive northward. Incheon has several universities, including Inha Univ. The city was formerly called Chemulpo.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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