Regardless of reciprocal treaty we accept all nation's ham licenses and issue (five year or one month) permits.
Currently Korea has a reciprocal treaty only with Japan since 1992.
Then we opened amateur radio to all countries in the world in 1999.
Please refer to the 'Information' menu in this website before operating in Korea.
It takes about 4 weeks to issue a permit because we have to go through our government.
For any inquiry, email to HL0HQ@HANMAIL.NET
de HL1FB/WW6N, KARL International Relations
1. New Applicants : Choose Five Year or One Month Permit
(1) Five year permit: If your radios were purchased in Korea and type approved in Korea, no station inspection will be required.
So you may choose to apply for a five year permit. Korean type approved radios have a sticker on each radios.
If your radios were purchased overseas and not type approved in Korea(no sticker) and planning to bring to Korea,
station inspection is required.
*****Inspection fee is $10USD(11,000KRW) per radio and it will be charged at the time of inspection.
If you are planning to stay in Korea for a long time, five year permit will be a good choice.
You may choose either Korean call sign or HL#'(your home call sign).
(2) One month permit: No station inspection is required regardless of whether your radios are Korean type approved or not.
If you are planning to stay in Korea for a short period of time, one month permit is recommended.
Your call sign will be HL#'(your home call sign). You cannot choose Korean call sign in this case.
*****Permit application fee is the same $45USD in both cases.
2. Please submit the following documents by airmail or email(HL0HQ@HANMAIL.NET) in MS word, PDF, JPEG or paper.
(1) Application form in the 'Official Form' menu
(2) Copy of applicant's license which shows name, call sign, class and expiration date.
This does not have to be the one from his/her own country of citizenship.
(3) Copy of a passport page which includes a photo of applicant (No visa copy is required).
**Note: US miltary persons stationed in Korea can submit a copy of their miltary ID card instead of passport.
If you are residing inside the military base, you should write your Korean address of the base, not the US military address.
For example, rather than ' *** road, Yongsan AB, Seoul, ROK' or APO address, you should write a Korean style address
such as '**** Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea'.
For this you should contact someone who knows the Korean address in the base where you live.
(4) A table which shows permissible maximum output power and allowed frequency bands by class in applicant's licensed country.
This is required because we issue a permit to the similar(or equivalent) operating privilege of your license.
United States and Japanese stations are not required to submit this because we already have the tables.
(5) Fee: KRW50,000($45US) will cover all the radios in your application.
** Note : Your Korean call sign will be HL#Z** such as HL1ZAA, HL5ZAB, etc. (# will be from 1 to 5 depending on your address in Korea)
Or if you prefer you can choose to be issued a 'HL#/home call sign' in the application form.
*** Choosing Korean call sign is recommended rather than the 'HL#/home call sign' because most Korean hams do not understand
the HL#/home call sign. Thus you may be contantly asked about your call sign.***
***Specific call sign requests were never accepted by our government CRMO(Central Radio Management Office).***
The maximum power output allowed in Korea is 1000W which will require linear amplifier.
To apply with linear amplifier, you need to specify the linear amplifier model and serial number in your application.
The linear amplifier may require station inspection.
Homemade radios, linear amplifiers or some equipments that are not type-approved in Korea may require station inspection which is not
complicated. After permit application, if necessary, CRMO will instruct you to call a phone number for inspection appointment.
They will drive to your address for inspection. You do not need to go to CRMO for inspection.
You will need help from a Korean speaking person.
In Korea only the equipments listed in the station permit (license) can be used for amateur radio activity. This regulation started in 1950's when Korea first opened amateur radio and has been continuing till today due to the fact that spies from North Korea have been communicating using HF CW mode. Nowadays internet, facsimile, email, and cellular phone can be used for spy communications, thus restricting amateur radio equipments does not help stopping spy activities. KARL has been asking our government to abolish the requirement but it has not been realized yet. Almost all amateurs in Korea use any equipment they can get regardless of this law and government has no intension to enforce the law. So many amateurs in Korea call it a dead law. Amateurs from overseas often embarrassed due to this requirement however once they get an operation permit in Korea they are free to choose their own equipments. KARL is trying very hard to abolish this restriction. It is expected that sometime this equipment restriction will be removed permanently.
***Radio Station Inspection***
In Korea, only Korean type approved radios are allowed to be used for amateur radio communication. If you apply with Korean type approved radios purchased in Korea (with a sticker) there will be no inspection. Otherwise radio inspection may be required. After applying for a permit, KARL will notify you whether your radios need be inspected. To get your radios inspected, you call the number in the permit (in Korean) to make an appointment for the inspection. The inspector will drive to you and will inspect your radios. If they ask you to ship the radio or bring to them, you may ask them to drive to your location. You do not need to have antenna set up. Radio inspection is not complicated. Recently an applicant using FlexRadio equipments had to be inspected and he passed. Chinese handheld radios such as UV-5R also needs be inspected.
3. Extension(Renewal) and/or Changing Radio and/or Upgrading to Higher Class
Initial permit is valid for five years. Five year extension, changing radios, upgrading to higher class can be done by submitting the following documents.
There will be no call sign change even if you upgrade to higher class license.
Extension will be five years regardless of your visa/passport validity period.
**Important** You should apply at least two month before your permit expires. If you are late you may be charged a new application fee of $45US.
(1) Extension form in the 'Official Form' menu.
(2) Copy of applicant's foreign license which shows name, call sign, class and expiration date
This does not have to be the one from his/her own country of citizenship.
(3) Copy of a passport page which includes a photo of applicant
(4) Copy of your old permit
(5) Fee: KRW20,000($18US)
Note: Current permit holders(with HL#/home call sign) who want to change to Korean call sign should apply as a new applicant.
In this case fee is KRW50,000 ($45US).
(1) New application :KRW50,000 ($45US) for the first five years
(2) Extension/changing radio : KRW20,000 ($18US) for the next five years
(3) For wire transfer : KARL, Korea Exchange Bank(KEB,한국외환은행) account number 204-22-03894-0,
Swift code : KOEXKRSE
Bank address : Korea Exchange Bank, 181 Euljiro-2ka, Chung-ku, Seoul, Korea
(4) Or you may send a certified check drawn to KARL.
(6) If you are already in Korea, you may walk into any bank near you and ask a teller to deposit the amount into the above KARL's bank account.
Bank may charge you KRW1000($1US) for the service.
5. Further Information & Application Submission
(1) New Address :
Korean Amateur Radio League
KARL Building 2F, 1584 Jungbu-daero, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-city,
Gyeonggi-do, Korea, Zip17144
(2) Phone : 82-2-575-9580 (when dialing from overseas)
02-575-9580 (when dialing in Korea) Ask for Ms. Park who speaks English well.
(3) E-mail inquiry(in English) and application submission HL0HQ@HANMAIL.NET