Korean URLs can use hangul characters

Somebody on Reddit asked if Korean URLs use English (Latin) letters, or Korean hangul characters.

Hangul character domain name sample

Most Koreans just search on the Naver search engine to find something. It's very rare that people will type out full URLs.

Most Korean websites use just English based URLs, such as Naver.com

However Hangul-written links are possible and some businesses do use them. You can type them into any modern browser, though of course because of the nature of the internet they get decoded in the background to a Latin letter based code equivalent. Only the domain name itself works in this way: subdirectories will use Latin letters, as in the example image above.

For example (and this is just one I stumbled across real quick here), here's the website for a baldness clinic: 탈모케어.kr which you can type in any browser today and it will work. If you click on that link (or try to copy from the URL bar once you visit) you'll see it's actually automatically encoded as http://xn--v52b25r8ohcyb.kr There was talk a couple years ago of even having this feature for top level domains (.com, .kr) too but I'm not sure what became of that.

Interesting fact, it seems like the registration process for these non-Latin URLs is separate, resulting in others snatching them up. 네이버.com apparently redirects to some guy's blog instead of actual Naver, and 카카오.com to a chocolate makers in Australia instead of Daum Kakao. Meanwhile 유튜브.com redirects to an extreme fundamentalist Christian website http://anti666.com/ You'd expect these to have been bought by the larger companies (or even have a claim against them?) but I guess they either didn't think about it or missed the chance. Somebody is clearly squatting on 한국.com but strangely 한국.kr and 대한민국.kr are free.