South Korea
korea.jpg (17150 bytes) korea-aa.jpg (20338 bytes) Public phone booth
Coin phone Phone card receiver
Public payphones accept coins, credit cards and phone cards. One purchases phone cards at street kiosks in amounts from $2.00 to $10.00 and there is only one type. There is no local phone store for payphones. The counter on the phone lets the caller know how much money is left on the phone card. When the card runs out, just buy another (they are not rechargeable). Calling information or the operator will connect the caller to a computer-generated voice that will not speak English.

Korea has 2 types of public phones: coin phones and pre-paid card phones.


Coin Phone Most coin phones will accept 10-, 50-, and 100-won coins, although some older models only accept 100-won coins. Coin phones do not return change after a call, but more calls can be made if money from the original deposit is still available. (For example, 2 calls of less than 3 minutes can be made with 1100-won coin.)

Therefore, as a courtesy to others, if money is still available on the phone, push the green "make another call" button instead of hanging up. (You can often find the handset lying on top of the phone instead of being hung up. You can often use these phones without having to pay the full amount for a phone call.)

To use, take the receiver off the hook, insert coins, then dial the number. The receiver will beep several times just before time runs out. Calls can be extended by inserting more money.


Pre-paid Phone Card Pre-paid phone cards in denominations of 3,000, 5,000, and 10,000 won are available at convenience stores, newspaper stands, and stationary stores. (Public card phones usually specify the nearest location to purchase one.)

Public Card Phone To use, take the receiver off the hook, insert the card, and dial the number. The display tells how much money remains on the card. End a call by hanging up and retrieving the card, or make additional calls by pressing the green button and dialing the next number. If the card runs out of money during a call, the receiver will beep several times. Press the red "change card" button and insert a new card.


  Public Phones Local calls
     (within roughly 30 km) 70 won/3 minutes

  Long-distance calls
     (over 30 km) 70 won/3 minutes
     (over 100 km) 70 won/43 seconds

  Mobile phone calls
     70 won/38 seconds

  Discount periods (30% discount)
     21:00 ~ 07:00 daily