In this study, the whole genome sequences of two Streptococcus pneumoniae clinical isolates from South Korea were determined and compared. They were found to be the same serotype (11?A) and multilocus sequence typing analysis showed that they are single-locus variants (SLVs; ST8279 and ST166) of each other, differing at one allele (aroE). However, the ST8279 strain is extensively drug-resistant (XDR) whereas the ST166 strain is not. The genome of the XDR strain is very similar in structure to that of two previously reported genomes, AP200 (11?A:ST62) and 70585 (5:ST5803); however, some regions were inverted and there were some exogenous regions in the ST8279 strain. It was found that 6,502 single nucleotide polymorphisms are dispersed across the genome between the two serotype 11?A ST8279 and ST166 strains. Many of them are located in genes associated with antibiotic resistance. In addition, many amino acid differences were also identified in genes involved in DNA repair (mutL, uvrA and uvrC) and recombination (recU, recR and recA). On the basis of these results, it was inferred that the XDR strain did not evolve from its SLV via a single recombination event involving a large portion of the genome including the aroE gene. Rather, the strain likely evolved through many point mutations and recombination events involving small portions of the genome. © 2019 The Societies and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.