Korea National League

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Korea National League
Founded2003; 20 years ago (2003)
CountrySouth Korea
Level on pyramid2 (2003–2012)
3 (2013–2019)
Domestic cup(s)Korean FA Cup
League cup(s)National League Championship
Most championshipsHyundai Mipo Dockyard (7 titles)
Korea National League
Revised RomanizationNaesyeneol rigeu
McCune–ReischauerNaesyŏnŏl rigŭ

The Korea National League was a South Korean semi-professional football league held annually from 2003 to 2019. It was considered the second-highest division of the South Korean football league system before the K League 2 was launched in 2013, and the third-highest division since then.


The Korea National League was officially founded in the name of K2 League in 2003 to execute a plan to professionalize the Korean National Semi-Professional Football League. The participating clubs of the National League had to have their hometowns unlike in the Semi-professional League era.

In 2006, the K2 League was rebranded as the Korea National League, and its champions were decided to promote to the K League. However, Goyang KB Kookmin Bank and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, the champions of the 2006 and 2007 season respectively, judged that they couldn't derive benefit from their professionalization, and rejected their promotion.[1] The Korea Football Association and the K League Federation eventually prepared another project to found the second-tier professional league which is irrelevant to the National League.[2]

At the end of 2019, the Korea National League was absorbed into the K3 League.[3]

All-time clubs[edit]

No. Club Owner(s)
1 Iksan Hallelujah (2003)
Gimpo Hallelujah (2004–2006)
Ansan Hallelujah (2007–2011)
Ansan H FC (2012)
2 Daejeon KHNP (2003–2012)
Gyeongju KHNP (2013–2019)
Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power
3 Gangneung City (2003–2019) Gangneung Government
4 Gimpo Kookmin Bank (2003)
Goyang Kookmin Bank (2003–2005)
Goyang KB Kookmin Bank (2006–2012)
Kookmin Bank
5 Incheon Korail (2003–2013)
Daejeon Korail (2014–2019)
6 Uijeongbu Hummel (2003–2005)
Icheon Hummel (2006–2007)
Nowon Hummel (2008–2009)
Chungju Hummel (2010–2012)
Hummel Korea
7 Icheon Sangmu (2003–2005) Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps
8 Suwon City (2003–2012) Suwon Government
9 Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (2003–2016) Hyundai Mipo Dockyard
10 Seosan Citizen (2003–2006)
Seosan Omega (2007)
Yesan FC (2008–2010)
Seosan Government (2003–2007)
Yesan Government (2008–2010)
11 Seoul City (2003) Seoul Government
12 Changwon City (2005–2019) Changwon Government
13 Busan Transportation Corporation (2006–2019) Busan Transportation Corporation
14 INGNEX FC (2007)
Hongcheon Idu (2008–2009)
INGNEX (2007)
Idu Construction (2008–2009)
15 Cheonan City (2008–2019) Cheonan Government
16 Gimhae City (2008–2019) Gimhae Government
17 Mokpo City (2010–2019) Mokpo Government
18 Yongin City (2010–2016) Yongin Government


List of champions[edit]

Season Champions Runners-up
Goyang Kookmin Bank Icheon Sangmu
Goyang Kookmin Bank Gangneung City
Incheon Korail Suwon City
Goyang Kookmin Bank Gimpo Hallelujah
Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Suwon City
Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Suwon City
Gangneung City Gimhae City
Suwon City Daejeon KHNP
Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Goyang KB Kookmin Bank
Incheon Korail Goyang KB Kookmin Bank
Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Gyeongju KHNP
Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Daejeon Korail
Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Gyeongju KHNP
Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Gangneung City
Gyeongju KHNP Gimhae City
Gyeongju KHNP Gimhae City
Gangneung City Gyeongju KHNP

Titles by club[edit]

Club Champions Runners-up
Hyundai Mipo Dockyard 7 (2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Goyang KB Kookmin Bank 3 (2003, 2004, 2006) 2 (2011, 2012)
Gyeongju KHNP 2 (2017, 2018) 4 (2010, 2013, 2015, 2019)
Gangneung City 2 (2009, 2019) 2 (2004, 2016)
Daejeon Korail 2 (2005, 2012) 1 (2014)
Suwon City 1 (2010) 3 (2005, 2007, 2008)
Gimhae City 3 (2009, 2017, 2018)
Icheon Sangmu 1 (2003)
Gimpo Hallelujah 1 (2006)


Sponsor Season Competition
Hyundai Motor Company 2003(1s) Hyundai Motors Cup K2 League
Intermax AD 2003(2s) Intermax Cup K2 League
Hyundai Motor Company 2004 Hyundai Motors Cup K2 League
Kookmin Bank 2005 KB Kookmin Bank Cup K2 League
STC Company 20062007(1s) STC Cup National League
Kookmin Bank 2007(2s)2008 KB Kookmin Bank National League
Kyobo Life Insurance 2009 Kyobo Life National League
Korea Life Insurance 2010 Daehan Life National League
Samsung Life Insurance 2011 Samsung Life National League
Shinhan Bank 20122013 Shinhan Bank National League
Samsung Life Insurance 2014 Samsung Life National League
Incheon International Airport Corporation 20152017 Incheon International Airport National League
Hanwha Life Insurance 2018 Hanhwa Life National League
Kyobo Life Insurance 2019 Kyobo Life National League

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 또 다시 승격거부, 미포조선의 잘못인가 (in Korean). Xportsnews. 13 December 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  2. ^ N리그, 승격제 폐지 합의… 아이엔지 '퇴출' (in Korean). Sports Hankook. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  3. ^ 한국형 디비전시스템의 '허리' K3·4리그 본격 출범 (in Korean). Sports Chosun. 13 May 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.

External links[edit]