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Bilateral Relations

This page provides a historical overview of bilateral relations between the Republic of Korea and the Kingdom of Denmark.

President Lee Myung-bak and former Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen
The Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Anders Samuelsen and his South Korean counter-part H.E. Kyung-wha Kang on 13 October 2017.
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In February, thirteen members from the Danish European Parliamentary Committee visited South Korea to extend their knowledge about the free trade agreement between The European Union and South Korea six years after it entered into force. The focus of the delegation’s visit was to look into the implementation and effects of the trade agreement from a South Korean perspective. The Danish delegation met a wide range of representatives from the National Assembly, labour and employer’s organisations, Danish companies, the Ministry for Trade, Industry and Energy, the European Delegation and the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea. The delegation also visited the Demilitarized Zone and met with representatives from the ASAN Institute of Foreign Policy and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Seoul to get insight into the political and security situation on the Korean Peninsula.

As a member of the International Olympic Committee HRH the Crown Prince will also visit South Korea in February to participate in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Besides HRH the Crown Prince, Brian Mikkelsen, the Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs will attend the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics on behalf of the Danish government. The Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs will also bring a maritime delegation to strengthen the industrial and commercial cooperation between Denmark and South Korea.


In March, two Danish delegations on employment and on environment and food visited Korea. The employment delegation, which consisted of the Danish Parliamentary Committee for Employment, Committee Chairman Bent Bøgsted and the Minister of Employment, H.E. Troels Lund Poulsen, visited Korea in order to gain insights into the development of Industry 4.0, robotics, smart production and what this means for the labour market. To this purpose, the delegation met with politicians, companies, labour market organisations and think tanks all around Korea. The other delegation was led by the Danish Minister for Environment and Food, H.E. Esben Lunde Larsen, who was accompanied by leading Danish food and ingredients companies, authorities and universities. The Environment and Food delegation had the purpose of brining Denmark and Korea closer together in these sectors, and the program included high-level governmental meetings, company visits and a Danish Buffet.

In October, the Danish Foreign Minister H.E. Anders Samuelsen visited South Korea. The minister’s visit was the first visit from a Danish Foreign Minister since 2013. During his visit, the Danish Foreign Minister met his Korean counterpart, H.E. Kyung-wha Kang, USFK/UNC Commander General Brooks, Danish businesses and visited the DMZ. The Foreign Ministers discussed the importance of the strategic partnership between the Republic of Korea and Denmark, especially in a time of extreme tension on the Korean Peninsula. Furthermore, the Danish Foreign Minister condemned the North Korean nuclear and missile program and called for a strong and unified response from the international community. The Foreign Ministers published a joint press statement following their meeting. Read the full text here.

In November, the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, made his first official visit to South Korea. The Embassy of Denmark in South Korea assisted in planning the visit, since the embassy is the Contact Point Embassy for NATO and NATO allies in South Korea. The Secretary General visited South Korea to underline NATOs support for the region in light of the recent tensions on the Peninsula, and to condemn the continued development of the North Korean nuclear and missile program. The visit resulted in a new partnership agreement between NATO and South Korea to further strengthen the partnership, especially when it comes to non-proliferation, cyber security and counter-terrorism. The Secretary General also had meetings with President Moon Jae-in, Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, members of parliament and leading security experts from the ASAN Institute. The Secretary General also met with General Vincent Brook from the United Nations Command, US Forces Korea.


In March, H.E Vittus Qujaukitsoq, the Greenlandic Minister for Industry, Labour, Trade and Foreign Affairs visits Korea with a business delegation to meet with Lee Taeho, the Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs, various Korean companies, and to participate in business seminars. The seminars focused on “tourism, design, and fisheries” and “business and investment opportunities in the infrastructure and natural resources”, respectively.

In October, Prime Minister H.E. Lars Løkke Rasmussen paid an official visit to Korea accompanied by 25 top Danish business leaders, organisations, universities and the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen. The Prime Minister met with President Park Geun-hye, adopting an Action Plan for 2016-2019 strengthening the strategic partnership. During his visit 12 MoUs were signed to increase cooperation across sectors, including energy, research, and healthcare. The Prime Minister also attended the 6th meeting of the Korean-Danish Green Growth Alliance with Korean Prime Minister Kyo-ahn Hwang, and attended the unveiling of the Little Mermaid statue in Yeouido Hangang Park, a symbol of the close ties between the two nations.


In October, the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science attends a ministerial-level meeting held by OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy in Daejeon. The meeting was hosted by the Korean government.
In October, H.E. Kim Young-suk, the Korean Minister for Oceans and Fisheries visits Denmark to participate in the 5th Green Growth Alliance meeting and Danish Maritime Forum.
In April, H.E. Kirsten Brosbøl, the Danish Minister for Environment, visits Korea to participate in the World Water Forum to advance an ambitious outcome on the Sustainable Development Goals. As a side event, Danish companies and research institutions showed their water technology and know-how at a showcase.
In January, H.E. Sofie Carsten Nielsen, the Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science visits Korea with a business and research delegation consisting of five sound technology companies and two universities. The Minister met with H.E. Hwang Woo-yea, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education as well as H.E. Choi Yanghee, Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning. Also, the Minister attended a Sound Innovation Camp for small and medium sized companies co-hosted by the Danish Sound Innovation Network. Finally, the minister met with universities, research institutions and potential business partners.


In March, Danish Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation, Mogens Jensen, pays a visit to Korea. The visit takes place on occasion of the 55 years of diplomatic relations between Korea and Denmark and includes the 4th meeting of the Danish-Korean Green Growth Alliance. The Minister is accompanied by one of the largest ever business delegations counting representatives of more than 75 Danish companies, organizations and research institutions.

In May, Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Rasmus Helveg Petersen, pays a visit to Korea to participate in the Fifth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM5). Under the theme of “Act Together, Think Creative,” CEM5 focuses on accelerating the transition to a global clean energy economy.

In August, Ambassador Thomas Lehmann takes over from Peter Lysholt Hansen.

In October, Minister for Environment Kristen Brosbøl visits Korea to attend the UN biological diversity conference (COP12), where she signs the Gangwon Declaration.


In February, Minister of Foreign Affairs Villy Søvndal participates in the inauguration of South Korean president Park Geun-hye. Chairman of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and former Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen also participates in the inauguration. 
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Danish Parliament pays a visit to South Korea in March to increase parliamentarian cooperation in the context of the close Danish Korean relations.

On occasion of the GGGI Board Meeting in June, Minister of Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach visits Korea

Danish Minister for Health and Prevention, Astrid Krag, visits Korea on invitation of her Korean counterpart, Minister of Health and Welfare, Chin Young. The ministers sign an agreement on health and welfare related cooperation. The minister is accompanied by a delegation of high-level representatives of Danish healthcare related companies and institutions exploring the possibilities for future Danish-Korean cooperation.

The Prime Minister of Korea, Chung Hong-won, visited Denmark from 20 to 22 October. During his visit he met with his Danish counterpart, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and participated in the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF). The Prime Minister also participated in the 3rd meeting of the Danish-Korean Green Growth Alliance focusing on green shipping and shipbuilding.


Minister for Foreign Affairs Kim Sung-Hwan pays an official visit to Denmark in January. He meets three Danish ministers to discuss various topics such as green growth and how to further extend the Green Growth Alliance between the two countries, developmental cooperation, nuclear security, piracy and cooperation on the Arctic region. In addition to the ministerial meetings, the Minister also has a round-table meeting with select company CEO’s at the Confederation of Danish Industries.

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt pays her first visit to South Korea in March to take part in the Nuclear Security Summit. The outcome of the Summit is an agreement between leaders from 53 countries on a list of comprehensive measures to take to prevent nuclear and radiological terrorism. During her stay, the Danish Prime Minister has a bilateral summit with Korean President Lee Myung-bak as well as other heads of governments. Helle Thorning-Schmidt also visits the DMZ.

In May, the Danish Crown Prince Couple, T.R.H. Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, pays an official visit to Korea on the invitation of President Lee Myung-bak. The Royal Couple is accompanied by three Danish Ministers for Trade and Investment (Pia Olsen Dyhr), Science, Innovation and Higher Education (Morten Østergaard) and Business and Growth (Ole Sohn) respectively and a business delegation of 76 Danish companies – the biggest Danish business delegation to ever visit Asia.
During the visit, the Crown Prince Couple participates in the opening of the World Expo 2012 in Yeosu and in a broad range of activities related to both culture and business. They meet both Korean Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik. H.R.H. Crown Princess Mary pays a visit to Samsung Medical Center and the Association for Unwed Mothers and Families, while H.R.H. Crown Prince Frederik gives a speech at the Global Green Growth Summit, where also the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Christian Friis Bach, is present. The Crown Prince also participates in the second meeting of the Korean-Danish Green Growth Alliance, where 14 agreements between the two governments and several companies and universities from Korea and Denmark are signed. The three Ministers have several meetings with their Korean counterparts and visit various Korean companies and universities.

In August, former Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen visits Seoul for the first time as chairman of the Seoul based organization Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). As the chairman Lars Løkke Rasmussen visits Korea several times in the fall.  

President Lee Myung-bak visits Greenland in early September. During the visit four Memorandums of Understand (MOU's) are signed, initiating cooperation between Greenland and Korea in areas such as research and minerals. President Lee is accompanied by H.R.H. Crown Prince Frederik and the Danish Minister of the Environment Ida Auken.

Ida Auken also visits Korea herself as the head of a delegation promoting Danish water technology. She meets with the Korean Minister of the Environment Yoo Young Sook and delivers the key note speech at both at the Danish-Korean Water Technology Forum and a GGGI conference on a new framework for international cooperation on green growth.

Later in September the Danish Parliamentary Committee on Science, Innovation and Higher Education visits Korea. Among others they visit the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, the National Assembly Research Committee and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

In October the Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik pays an official visit to Denmark. During his stay he meets HM Queen Margrethe II and Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and participates in the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF).

Villy Søvndal, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, also pays an official visit to Korea in October. During the visit Villy Søvndal meets with three Korean Ministers - Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Kim Sung-Hwan, Minister of Knowledge Economy Hong Suk-woo and Minister of Unification Yu Woo-ik.

Minister of Climate Change, Energy and Buildings Martin Lidegaard and Minister of Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach visit Korea in October as well to take part in the Pre-COP18 meeting and a board meeting in GGGI respectively.


State Visit by President Lee Myung-bak to Denmark on 11-12 May. The President is received by the Royal Family, and guest of honour at a State Banquet hosted by H.M. Queen Margrethe II.

During the State Visit, the two countries launch a Strategic Partnership, committing both sides to increase cooperation bilaterally as well as multilaterally. As part of the Strategic Partnership the Korean-Danish Green Growth Alliance is launched, demonstrating the two countries’ dedication to increase bilateral and multilateral cooperation at the political level and in the private and public sectors to promote green growth globally. 

Minister for Climate and Energy and Gender Equality Lykke Friis visits Korea. During the visit, she participates in the board meeting of the Korean initiated Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). Furthermore, the Minister takes part in the launch of “Green Partners”, a book about the green profile of Danish companies in Korea, as well as giving a speech at the Global Green Growth Summit.

Minister for Education Troels Lund Poulsen visits Korea. During the visit, he agrees with the Korean Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Seol Dong-geun, on the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding within the educational sector. Among the news, the two countries decide to cooperate on green growth in educational curricula and strengthen vocational training.


Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen visits Korea in March. He is accompanied by a high-level business delegation. The purpose of the visit is political consultations and increased bilateral cooperation in green tech, science and education.

Ambassador Peter Lysholt Hansen takes over from Poul Hoiness.


50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Korea. On this occasion, Presidential Special Envoy, Park Geun-hye, pays a visit to H.M. the Queen during her visit to Denmark. To further mark the anniversary, several events in both Korea and Denmark take place; including a special feature on Korea at the Aarhus Festival Week and a Danish jazz festival in Seoul.

Minister for Education, Bertel Haarder, visits Korea. During his visit, a Memorandum of Understanding between Denmark and Korea is signed, increasing cooperation in the educational field.

H.R.H. Princess Benedict visits Korea and is awarded an honorary doctorate at Seoul Women’s University.

President Lee Myung-bak visits Denmark on the occasion of the COP15 climate change conference in December. The President announces his country’s ambitious goal for reduction of CO2 emission.


First-ever State Visit by any of the two countries, as H.M. Queen Margrethe II visits Korea in October, accompanied by H.R.H. the Prince Consort. Along follows also a business delegation within the areas of design, energy and environment, whose aim it is to strengthen the opportunities for Danish companies in the Korean market.


Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, visits Korea with a business delegation in November. The purpose of the trip is to increase innovation and ensure mutual benefits of the increased globalisation. Also, security issues in North East Asia and Europe are discussed.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ban Ki-moon, visits Denmark.

Korea-Denmark Summit in Helsinki, Finland, in the margin of the ASEM VI summit in September.


Ambassador Poul Hoiness takes over from Leif Donde.


President Kim Dae-jung visits Denmark on the occasion of the ASEM IV summit held in Copenhagen in October.

H.R.H. Prince Joachim visits Korea.

Special Envoy of the President, Lee Jung-bin, visits Denmark.


Prime Minister, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, visits Korea on the occasion of the ASEM III summit in Seoul in October. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen delivers a speech at the closing ceremony.


Minister of Foreign Affairs, Niels Helveg Petersen, visits Korea.
Ambassador Leif Donde takes over from Jens Peter Larsen.


As the first President of the Republic of Korea H.E. Mr. Kim Young-sam visits Denmark to attend the UN Summit on Social Development in March. 
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Niels Helveg Petersen, visits Korea.


H.R.H. the Prince Consort visits Korea.
Ambassador Jens Peter Larsen takes over from Jan Marcussen.


Minister for Agriculture, Bjørn Westh, visits Korea.


Prime Minister, Poul Schlüter, visits Korea.
Minister for Industry, Anne Birgitte Lundholt, visits Korea.


Ambassador Jan Marcussen takes over from Hans Assing.


Ambassador Hans Assing takes over from Jørgen Holm.


Jørgen Holm takes over from Ole Philipson to become the second Danish Ambassador solely accredited to Korea.


Ambassador Ole Philipson takes office as the first Danish ambassador accredited solely to Korea.


Denmark opens a General Consulate in Seoul under the auspices of the Royal Embassy of Denmark in Tokyo, Japan.


Per S. Groot become the last Danish Ambassador to double as both Ambassador to Japan and Korea.


The Republic of Korea opens its embassy in Copenhagen. Tyge Dahlgaard become the third Ambassador to be accredited in both Japan and Korea. Still working out of Tokyo.


J.H.G. baron Zytphen-Adeler takes over after T. Busck-Nielsen as Danish Ambassador to Japan and South Korea


The Republic of Korea and The Kingdom Denmark establish diplomatic relations on 11 March. T. Busck-Nielsen, Danish Ambassador to Japan is also acting as ambassador to Korea.


With the outbreak of the Korean War, Denmark sends the hospital ship Jutlandia to Korea to support the allied forces under the UN flag. Jutlandia spends 999 days on three different missions from 1951 until the end of the Korean War. During its three missions to Korea doctors and nurses treated almost 5,000 military personnel and more than 6,000 civilians. Jutlandia was the only hospital ship to also treat civilians during the Korean War.


A friendship agreement between the Kingdom of Denmark and the Empire of Korea is established. The agreement becomes void with Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910.

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