This is a study of the Korean vowel system. The traditional description is that of a quadrangular system with three levels of sonority and three to four classes of timbre, but none of my findings match it. Instead, unusual and exciting vowel systems emerge, with back vowels in both the Seoulites and older people in Pyongyang contrasting three degrees of timbre in addition to the front vowels, though they do it in different ways. The vowel system of Seoul is found to be a triangular system where /ɛ/ has merged with /e/ and /o/ has been raised to the same degree of closeness as /u/, making a four-way distinction in timbre between what we should call /i, ɯ, ʉ, u/. The medial level of sonority, then, consists of only two vowels: /e/ and /ʌ/. The most sonorous member is still /a/. The system is not only found in university students either; it is consistent in the KBS News announcers too. This system is shown in table 1, with the traditional symbols, but with my suggested alternatives in parentheses. The Pyongyang vowel systems vary a bit more, with the oldest announcer displaying a triangular system with no distinction between /e/ and /ɛ/, but with four classes of timbre being contrasted at the medial level of sonority, consisting of /e, ɘ, ɤ, o/. The younger announcers distinguish /e/ and /ɛ/, but they do it in an unexpected way: the close /e/ sits between /ɛ/ and /i/, but /ɛ/ actually contrasts with /ɘ, ɤ, o/ purely in timbre, meaning /e/ sits between these two sonority levels. Finally, the young leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has a very symmetrical system that is a triangular, three-level, three-class one, contrasting /i, ɯ, u/, /e, ɤ, o/, and /a/.