JKAS was launched in 1968 to provide a peer-reviewed scientific journal to the Korean community of astronomers. As there were only a few professional astronomers in Korea back then, JKAS initially published one issue per year, with each issue containing a handful of papers written either in Korean or English. The first-ever JKAS paper was written by Chou & Kitamura and discussed the photometric orbit of the eclipsing binary DI Pegasi.
Over time, the Korean astronomy community grew, and so did the number of papers. In 1986, JKAS became English-only, with Korean language papers spun off to the Publications of the Korean Astronomical Society (PKAS). Around 2004/2005, the astronomical societies of Korea, Japan, China, and India discussed a merger of their national astronomy journals, including JKAS, into a unified Asian journal; eventually, this proposal was rejected.
In the past decade, efforts were made to make JKAS fit for the 21st century. In 2009, JKAS was added to the ISI/Thomson Reuters Science Citation Index Expanded database and received an impact factor, thus – at last – joining the family of globally recognized quality scientific journals. Nowadays, JKAS receives about 40 to 50 papers per year out of which 20 to 30 are accepted and published.