Daejeon lies between latitudes N36°10'50" and N36°29'47" and longitudes E127°14'54" and E127°33'21" near the middle of South Korea. It is 167.3 km (104.0 mi) from Seoul, 294 km (183 mi) from Busan and 169 km (105 mi) from Gwangju. Sejong, which is planned to be the new administrative capital of South Korea, is also close by. The city lies inside a great circle and is surrounded by several mountains, and Gyeryongsan National Park straddles the city border to the west. The city is divided into five boroughs: Seogu (서구), Donggu (동구), Yuseonggu (유성구), Daedeokgu (대덕구), and Junggu (중구). Three streams flow through the city from south to north, eventually joining with the Geum River: Gapcheon (갑천), Yudeungcheon (유등천), and Daejeoncheon (대전천).
Human beings first settled in the Daejeon region during the Stone Age. It was occupied and in use as strategic military ground in various times by people such as the Usul-gun of Baekje, Bipung-gun of Silla, and the Hoideok-hyeon, Yuseong-hyeon, Deokjin-hyeon, and Jinjam-hyeon. During the Joseon Kingdom period, it remained occupied by the Hoideok-hyeon and Jinjam-hyeon of Gongju Mokha. In 1895, most of the area was made part of Hoideok-gun and Jinjam-gun, excluding some parts that belonged to Gongju-gun.
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