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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.

Read more here (Danish link).

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

In 1959, diplomatic ties were established between the two countries and in 2011, Denmark and Korea entered into a strategic partnership including a Green Growth Alliance. Since then, the partnership has strengthened the political, commercial, cultural, and scientific cooperation between Denmark and South Korea. In 2021, the partnership was elevated to a Comprehensive Green Strategic Partnership.

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

Furthermore, Denmark and Korea launched the P4G (Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals) along with Chile, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico and Vietnam at the 2017 United Nations Summit to promote public and private partnerships to fulfil the Paris agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since then, the P4G has been joined by the Netherlands, the Republic of Colombia in 2018, and Bangladesh, Indonesia, and South Africa in 2019.

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





In March, The Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries,  Jacob Jensen, visited Korea with a business delegation consisting of Danish food and ingredient companies. The minister met with key food authorities and business leaders to discuss trade and green transition within the agricultural and food sector. A Letter of Intent on Green Transition was also signed between the Danish Ministry and the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for bilateral cooperation within agriculture and food.

In March, the embassy launched the ‘Denmark-Korea Hospital Alliance’, a collaboration between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, the Danish Ministry of Health, Healthcare Denmark, and major hospitals in Korea and Denmark. The purpose of the alliance is to further strengthen the existing bilateral partnership and to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences between key stakeholders within the health sector.

In September, Danish Minister of Senior Citizens, Mette Kierkgaard, paid an official visit to Korea to enhance the quality of healthcare services for seniors, promote innovative solutions, and foster a deeper understanding of both Korean and Danish healthcare systems. During her visit, the minister engaged with key health authorities from the Korean government such as Minister KyooHong Cho of Health and Welfare of Korea, and the National Health Insurance Service. She also engaged with essential stakeholders within the hospital and nursing home sectors that are part of the Korean-Danish Hospital Alliance, as well as several Danish healthcare corporations participating in the 'Digital Innovation Festa 2023' in Seoul.

In September, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol held a bilateral meeting in the margins of the 78th UN General Assembly in New York. The two leaders, among other topics, expressed an interest in strengthening the collaboration in the Green Growth Alliance and emphasised a continued collaboration on peace and stability. The meeting was viewed as an opportunity to further promote exchanges between the two countries.

In September, Mayor Peter Rahbaek Juel of Odense visited Korea to promote bilateral relations in drones, robotics, and smart city solutions. During the visit, the Mayor signed an agreement with Mayor Yoo Jeong-Bok of Incheon agreeing to join the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) collaboration of the Global UAM Regional Summit (GURS). In addition, on behalf of the City of Odense, the Mayor received the 'Human-CentriCity Seoul Smart City Prize' given by the Seoul Metropolitan Government for Odense’s work on creating people-centred digital transformation aimed at providing more accessible services for every citizen. The City of Odense and Odense Robotics also had great discussions with the Korean Association of Robot Industry (KAR) about continuing collaboration on robotics between the clusters.

In May, Svend Olling officially took over from Einar H. Jensen as Danish Ambassador to Korea.


In February, the 11th meeting between Korea and Denmark in the Green Growth Alliance was kicked off at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul. The meeting's theme was "Green Finance" and discussions revolved around the financing sector's role in achieving carbon neutrality.The meeting was facilitated by the Danish Ambassador to Korea Einar Jensen and Korea's Climate Change Ambassador Hyoeun Jenny Kim who oversaw the talks between major green financing stakeholders such as CIP, EKF, Ørsted and PensionDanmark and their Korean counterparts such as KDB, Kexim Bank, KB Financial Group, etc. In addition to this, the 12th edition of the Green Growth Alliance meeting was scheduled to be held at an undisclosed date in Copenhagen on Power2X technology and green hydrogen.

In February, Korean and Danish stakeholders met at a Green Hydrogen Alliance round-table discussion hosted by the Embassy of Denmark in Korea and the Global Knowledge Exchange & Development Center to talk through challenges, market opportunities, and cooperation in the field of green hydrogen. A total of 20 government and private organisations from Korea and Denmark participated in the event where speeches were held by Jesper Petersen, the Danish Minister of Higher Education and Science, Han Jeoung-ae, the Korean minister of Environment and the Danish Ambassador to Korea Einar Jensen. 

In June, the Danish Ambassador of Climate, Tomas Anker Christensen, visited Seoul to promote the green agenda and work for a sustainable tomorrow. The theme of the visit was 'Green Financing' which plays a fundamental role in developing sustainable projects. During the visit Ambassador Christensen met with representatives from the new government here in Korea, the Climate Change Ambassador Hyoeun Jenny Kim and heads of key Korean financial institutions to talk about how Denmark and Korea can cooperate in bringing about a greener tomorrow.

During the NATO summit in Madrid on June 29th, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol met each other for the first time to discuss the relationship between Korea and Denmark. Issues ranged from the denuclearisation of North Korea and the broader strategy in the Indo-Pacific to Denmark and Korea's cooperation on climate change.

In August, the Danish Minister for Health Magnus Heunicke visited South Korea. During the Minister's stay in Seoul, he met the Korean 2nd Vice Minister for Health and Welfare Lee Ki-il to discuss healthcare cooperation between Denmark and Korea. The Minister for Health also met the Korean Vice Minister for Food and Drug Safety Kwon Oh-Sang to cement the good relationship between the two counties. Furthermore, the Danish Ministry of Health and the Korean National Health Insurance Service signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen collaboration on chronic diseases, healthy aging and digitalisation.



In April, the Danish Foreign Minister and the Korean Foreign Minister had a phone meeting discussing the strong bilateral relationship between the two nations. The foreign ministers signed a Joint Action Plan for the Danish-Korean strategic partnership 2021-2024. The action plan strengthens cooperation within four strategic lines of effort: 1) sustainability & green transition, 2) science, technology, and innovation, 3) health & life science, and 4) political & economic cooperation.

In May, The Danish Minister of Environment and the Korean Minister of Environment had a virtual bilateral meeting to strengthen the green cooperation between Denmark and Korea. The Ministers discussed Danish-Korean cooperation within the areas of wastewater management, organic waste, circular systems, and bioenergy.

In May, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and the South Korean President Moon Jae-in met at a virtual bilateral summit, in which they agreed to elevate our two countries' relationship to a Comprehensive Green Strategic Partnership. The two leaders discussed the areas of health and life science, COVID-19 vaccines, renewable energy, and peace on the Korean Peninsula as areas of further cooperation.

In September, Climate Ambassador Tomas Anker Christensen visited Korea. He met with Korean key stakeholders and his counterparts on the climate agenda to reinforce Denmark's support for Korea's green transition and discuss climate reduction targets.



In February, Tomas Anker Christensen, the newly appointed Climate Ambassador of Denmark visited Korea with a delegation from Denmark’s Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities. He met with his Korean counterparts to strengthen the bilateral cooperation in the green field and to stress Denmark’s support of Korea’s green transition.



In May, TRH The Danish Crown Prince Couple visited Korea accompanied by The Danish Minister of Education Merete Riisager, top government officials and a business delegation comprised of 50 companies and organization from the sustainability, healthcare, food, and lifestyle sectors. The visit commemorated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Korea and was a highlight of the 2019 Denmark-Korea Year of Culture with HRH The Crown Princess, the Danish patron of the year, opening a number of cultural events in Korea. TRH The Crown Prince Couple met with President Moon Jae-in and Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon to reaffirm the strong friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries, and they visited the Demilitarized Zone to gain further insight into the current situation on the Korean peninsula. During the 2-day visit, 28 business events were held with the participation of more than 1,000 people. Seven Memorandums of Understanding were signed during the Grand Opening.

In September, Einar H. Jensen officially took over from Thomas Lehmann as Danish Ambassador to Korea.



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.

In October, the South Korean President Moon Jae-in paid an official visit to Denmark accompanied by a large official delegation to participate in the inaugural summit of the P4G (Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030). During the visit, President Moon Jae-in had a bilateral meeting with the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. A Joint Press Statement was released following the meeting, outlining further areas of cooperation between Denmark and Korea. Read the Joint Press Statement here. Furthermore, The Danish Minister for Environment and Food Jakob Ellemann-Jensen and the Korean Minister for Environment Kim Eunkyung signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation in the field of circular economy.

In November, the 8th Green Growth Alliance meeting was held in Seoul. The Danish Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Christian Lilleholt and the Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Yunmo Sung attended the meeting, which included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of renewable energy with particular emphasis on offshore wind.



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



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.



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.



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).



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.



 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.



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 (GGA) 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 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.