Kaesong is a special city in the southern part of North Korea, and the capital of Korea during the Taebong kingdom and subsequent Goryeo dynasty. The city is near the Kaesong Industrial Region close to the border with South Korea and contains the remains of the Manwoldae palace. Called Songdo while it was the ancient capital of Goryeo, the city prospered as a trade centre that produced Korean ginseng. Kaesong now functions as the DPRK's light industry centre.
During the Japanese occupation from 1910 to 1945, the city was known by the Japanese pronunciation of its name, "Kaijō". Between 1945 and 1950, Kaesong was part of South Korea and under its control. The 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement left the city under North Korean control. Due to the city's proximity to the border with South Korea, Kaesong has hosted cross-border economic exchanges between the two countries as well as the jointly run Kaesong Industrial Region.
As of 2009, the city had a population of 192,578.