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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.

Denmark and South Korea
Denmark and South Korea have had a close ties since the Denmark supported South Korea during the Korean War by sending the hospital ship ‘Jutlandia’, who treated both wounded UN soldiers and Korean civilians.

In 1959, diplomatic ties were established between the two countries and in 2011, Denmark and South Korea entered into a strategic partnership. Since then, the partnership has strengthened the political, commercial, cultural, and scientific cooperation between the Denmark and South Korea. 

Green Growth Alliance
An important part of the strategic partnership is the Green Growth Alliance (GGA), which was formalized in 2012 and is a forum for annual high-level exchanges on topics related to green transition and global green growth. With the alliance, Korea and Denmark decided to join efforts in promoting the political, commercial and technological developments required for a paradigm shift towards low-carbon green growth.

Furthermore, Denmark and South Korea launched the P4G, Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals along with Chile, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico and Vietnam at the 2017 UN Summit to promote public and private partnerships to fulfil the Paris agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. 

You can read more about the content of the partnership and the Green Growth Alliance (GGA) by following the links below:

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2018

In February, the Danish European Parliamentary Committee visited Korea to extend their knowledge on the EU-Korea free trade agreement. HRH the Crown Prince also visited Korea in February to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang as a member of the International Olympic Committee. The Danish Minister for Business also visited Korea during the Winter Olympics, where he represented the Danish government. The Danish Minister also brought a delegation with him to strengthen the maritime cooperation between Denmark and Korea.

The Danish Speaker of Parliament and the Danish Presidium made her first official visit to Korea in March, where she met her Korean counterpart to strengthen the parliamentarian cooperation and to stress the importance of the Danish-Korean strategic partnership. March also included a visit from Artic Ambassador and delegates from Greenland and Faroe Island. The focus the visit was to promote the two countries as travel destinations. 

2017

In March, the Danish Parliamentary Committee Employment and the Minister for Employment visited Korea to gain insights into the development of Industry 4.0, robotics, smart production and the consequences for the labour market. A delegation from the Danish Ministry for Environment and Food also visited Korea in March to strengthen the Danish-Korean cooperation within the two sectors.

The Danish Foreign Minister made a visit to Korea in October - the first since 2013. The Minister met with his Korean counterpart and discussed the importance of the Danish-Korean strategic partnership. The seventh meeting in the Korean-Danish Green Growth Alliance took place in Copenhagen in October. The meeting was focused on circular economy and how it can be a driver for sustainable growth. The Korean Minister for Environmental Industry and Technology participated along with the Danish Minister for Environment and Food.

In November, the Secretary General of NATO, made his first official visit to Korea to underline NATO’s support for the region in light of the tensions on the peninsula. The Secretary General also met with the Korean president to express NATO’s support

2016

In March, the Greenlandic Minister for Industry, Labour, Trade and Foreign Affairs visited Korea with a business delegation and met with the Korean Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs. The Danish Prime Minister made an official visit to Korea in October with a large business delegation. The Danish Prime Minister and the Korean President signed an Action Plan for the Danish-Korean strategic partnership 2016-2019. The Prime Minister also attended the sixth meeting of the Korean-Danish Green Growth Alliance (GGA) under the theme of energy, research, business and fire safety.

2015

I January, the Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science visited Korea to strengthen the cooperation in the field of education. The Minister met her Korean counterpart and the Korean Minister for Science, ICT and Future Planning.

The Danish Minister for Environment visited Korea in April to participate in the World Water Forum and in October, the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science attended a ministerial-level meeting held by OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy in Daejeon. The Korean Minister for Oceans and Fisheries visited Denmark in October to participate in the fifth Green Growth Alliance meeting and Danish Maritime Forum.

2014

In March, Danish Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation visited Korea on occasion of the 55 years of diplomatic relations between Korea and Denmark and the fourth meeting of the Green Growth Alliance (GGA) focused on energy-efficiency, renewable energy and green solutions. The Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, visited Korea in May to participate in the fifth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM5) focusing on accelerating the transition to a global clean energy economy.

In August, Thomas Lehmann took over From Peter Lysholt Hansen, as Danish Ambassador to Korea. In October, the Danish Minister for Environment visited Korea to attend the UN Biological Diversity Conference (COP12).

2013

In February, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs participated in the inauguration of the newly elected Korean President. The Chairman of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) also visited Korea in February.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Danish Parliament visited Korea in March to increase parliamentarian cooperation between the two countries. In June, the Danish Minister of Development Cooperation visited Korea to participate in the GGGI board meeting.

The Danish Minister of Health and Prevention visited Korea in August to strengthen cooperation between the countries when it comes to health and welfare. In October, the third meeting in the Green Growth Alliance (GGA) took place in Denmark with participation from the Korean Prime Minister and the Danish Prime Minister under the theme of green shipping and green shipbuilding.

2012

 In January, the Korean Foreign Minister visited Denmark to discuss green growth and expansion of the Green Growth Alliance (GGA). The Danish Prime Minister visited Korea in March to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit and in May T.R.H. The Crown Prince and Crown princess of Denmark made an official visit to Seoul and participated in the second meeting in the GGA.

In August, the Chairman of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) visited Korea several times, and in September, the Korean President visited Greenland to initiate cooperation within research and minerals. The Minister for Environment also made a visit to Korea in September, in order to promote Danish water technology.

The Danish Parliamentary Committee on Science, Innovation and Higher Educations visited Korea in September and in October; the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Korea and had meetings with his Korean colleagues. By the end of October, the Danish Minister for Climate Change, Energy and Buildings visited Korea to participate in the Pre-COP18 and the GGGI board meeting.   

2011

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.

2010

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.

2009

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.

2007

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.

2006

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.

2005

Ambassador Poul Hoiness takes over from Leif Donde.

2002

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.

2000

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.

1999

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

1995

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.

1994

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

1993

Minister for Agriculture, Bjørn Westh, visits Korea.

1991

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

1989

Ambassador Jan Marcussen takes over from Hans Assing.

1985

Ambassador Hans Assing takes over from Jørgen Holm.

1981

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

1979

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

1978

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

1976

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

1972

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.

1967

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

1959

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.

1950-53

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.

1902

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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Contact

Dorte Bryde Mikkelsen 

First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission
+82 2 6363 4802
dortmi@um.dk