In May 2016 Korail placed a Won 102bn ($US 87.7m) order with Hyundai Rotem for 30 trains for use on the new Gyeongjeon line to Masan in the south of the country. This was followed in December 2016 by a second contract worth Won 216bn for a further 84 EMU-250 sets for the Seohae, Center Island and Jungang lines, which are being upgraded for 200km/h operation.

All 114 trains are expected to be delivered by next year.

The EMU-250 will be the first distributed-traction high-speed trains to operate in Korea, which currently only operates high-speed trains which have power cars at each end, such as KTX-Sancheon

The EMU-250 is based on the HEMU-430X, a 430km/h prototype developed by Hyundai Rotem in 2012. The six-car EMU-250 has a seating capacity of 381, 18 more than KTX-Sancheon, with each seat featuring individual power outlets, USB plugs and a smartphone wireless charging system. The trains also compatible with both high and low platforms at stations.

A mock-up EMU-250 was displayed at Yongsan, Suncheon and Changwon stations in 2017 to receive public feedback on the interior design of the fleet, resulting in more legroom being created, and the armrests being widened.