Baengnyeong Island is a 45.8-square-kilometre, 8.45 kilometres long and 12.56 kilometres wide island in Ongjin County, Incheon, South Korea, located near the Northern Limit Line.
The 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement which ended the Korean War specified that the five islands including Baengnyeong Island would remain under United Nations Command and South Korean control. This agreement was signed by both the DPRK and the United Nations Command. Since then, it serves as a maritime demarcation between North and South Korea in the Yellow Sea. It has a population of approximately 4,329.
The meaning of its name is “white wing island”, since the island resembles a flying ibis with its wings spread.
Given its proximity to North Korea, it has served as a base for intelligence activity by South Korea. Numerous North Korean defectors have also boated here to escape economic and political conditions in their homeland. In the recent past there have been several naval skirmishes between the two countries in the area, and Kim Jong-Un threatened on 11 March 2013 to wipe it out.
The area is also rich in oceanic fauna and bird diversities. The Chinese egret, which is considered to be one of the fifty rarest birds in the world, can be found here. The area hosts a nature reserve for spotted seals, and they can be observed on the rocks and beaches. Presences of seals occasionally attract predators such as Great white shark into the area. Finless porpoisees in adjacent waters are also curious and playful. Incheon Coast Guard has been investigating illegal whaling targeting minke whales in the area.