The result of a merger between several commercial agencies in 1981, Yonhap is now the largest news-gathering network in Korea.
Across its head office in Seoul, regional offices and overseas bureaus, the agency boasts a team of 550 journalists and photographers. More than 120 reporters covering 13 key provincial cities give Yonhap the most extensive local coverage of all Korean dailies and broadcasters.
From Los Angeles and London, to Shanghai and Sydney, a total of 43 correspondents are posted in 32 major international cities. Local stringers are employed in a further 15 locations abroad, tasked with not only reporting on Korean affairs but other global issues as well.
Under a 2009 law passed by the National Assembly, Yonhap was entrusted with promoting the country's image and distributing information to help offset the volume of news originating from Western sources.
The agency’s foreign-language news service is distributed in English, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Spanish. Its English service reaches more than 66 of the world’s most prominent news agencies, with many other organisations, governments and individuals accessing the service via Yonhap's website.
As the first Korean media company to implement an electronic system for writing and distributing news articles to clients, Yonhap has played a critical role in providing reliable coverage of major Korean events over several decades, including the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the 2000 Asia-Europe Meeting, the 2002 Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup, and the 2005 summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.