SOTA in South Korea

I am visiting South Korea sometime in May, and would like to do some SOTA whilst there.

I very rarely see anything to do with South Korea on this website, including Alerts or Spots. So am I missing something, and I was wondering if anyone has any tips and pointers that would be helpful to me.

I have already received my South Korean licence and call sign (HL1ZCT).

I have identified some summits to activate and I was wondering how much CW there is out there, and if RBNHole works out there?

Any help/pointers appreciated.


Hi David,

The lack of spots is for two reasons: most activations are 2m and use the local calling frequency, and English is not the easiest language for Koreans, so using the form can be hard.

HF in Korea is difficult as most summits are filled with people on the weekend, but you can find out of the way areas in the activation zones. Also, a lot of summits have military installations, so radios are a good idea.

In Seoul, Ansan, Guryongsan and Yongmasan are easy and there are spots for an end fed or carefully placed dipole. All are busy on the weekend.

Contact Jason HL4ZFA who is always quick to respond and help fellow activators.


I should add that there a lot less CW skimmers in Asia that RBNHole could hear you on, although there’s one or two in Japan and one in China. 20m and 40m should yield regular JA CW chasers. 17m and 15m might get you VK chasers, but with propagation as it is, it’s very hit-and-miss. I could work VK6 from HL a few weeks back, but nothing on the east coast. They could hear JA activators but not me.

There’s also copious quantities of high grade cellular data available on most HL summits.


Hi David,

I should imagine you’ll be a big target for the SOTA chasers. As far as I’m aware, South Korea don’t turn up too often in the European SOTA activators log books. The last time I worked HL was way back in 20ll from GW/NW-070 Great Orme. I’d be surprised if there’s ever been a s2s with HL from Europe.


Hi David,

I have just returned from South Korea and did a little SOTA while there. The highlight was activating the highest mountain in South Korea, Mt. Halla on Jeju Island (19.2km hike with 1200m elevation gain). Local contacts were few, most were from VK and ZL on 15 metres.
As Andrew has stated earlier, if you are in Seoul, the easiest summits are Ansan and Yongmasan. These are easily reached by Subway and a walk.
Challenges operating in South Korea are difficulty with local contacts and amount of people on the summits making it hard to put up a large antenna.
Don’t bother with Inwangsan, as there is a military presence there, we were asked not to operate our radio gear.
There is activity on 2 metres (call on 145MHz FM and QSY), although language will be a problem.
I qualified Ansan purely on VK contacts using 15 metres.
Here are some links to previous blogs, I will write up the latest visit soon.


Glenn VK3YY / HL1ZIB


Many thanks to all of you for your very helpful advice, which I will certainly take note of.

My current plans are to activate at least one summit in Seoul, and the following:-

HL/JJ-001 - Hallasan (Jeju Island);
HL/BS-001 - Geumjeongsan (Busan area).

I think I have been put of Namsan (HL/SL-009), so will be looking into activating Ansan (HL/SL-008) and/or Yongmasan (HL/SL-003).

Looks like I need to focus on the higher bands.

I will be putting some Alerts on Sotawatch in the next few days.

Once again thanks for the advice.


Hi David,

I wrote up my blog of Hallasan last night:

Its a great hike.


Just activated HL/SL-008 Ansan today and many thanks to my Japanese chasers who helped me activate the summit. The self spots should have been for HL1ZCT but I put G4ZAO in error. Must have been the jetlag, so apologies for that.