Ministry of Foreign Affairs (South Korea)


South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is in charge of the country's foreign relations, as well as handling matters related to overseas Korean nationals. It was established on 17 July 1948.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
외교부
外交部
Oegyobu
Agency overview
Formed17 July 1948
JurisdictionGovernment of South Korea
Headquarters60, Sajik-ro 8-gil
Jongno-gu, Seoul
110-787, South Korea
37.573568°N 126.975080°E / 37.573568; 126.975080
Annual budgetKR₩1,520 billion (about US$646 million) (2010)[1]
Ministers responsible
  • Chung Eui-yong, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Cho Hyun, 1st Vice Minister
  • Lee Taeho, 2nd Vice Minister
Child agencies
WebsiteMinistry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (English)

Its main office is located in the MOFA Building in Jongno District, Seoul.[2] The ministry previously had its headquarters in a facility in Doryeom-dong in Jongno District.[3]

History


The Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs was created in 1948 following the Government Organisation Law under the Rhee Syng-man administration.[4] It undertook matters of foreign policy, protection of overseas Korean nationals, international economy, treaties, diplomacy and the assessment of international and overseas public relations.[5] The top priority for the Ministry was initially to focus on the “international recognition of the new Korean government as the only legitimate one on the Korean peninsula”.[4] Shortly after the Ministry was established, overseas missions in the United States, the United Kingdom and France were set up.[5]

In 1963 the Educational Institute of Foreign Service Officers was established to further educate foreign public officials and improve their work efficiency.[6] In 1965 the Educational institute became the Research Institute of Foreign Affairs.[5] In December, 1976 the Research Institute was reorganised again to become the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Security.[6] In 2012, this institution developed into the Korea National Diplomatic Academy and has the largest research and training institution of its kind within South Korea.[5]

In 1998, the ministry's name was changed to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT, 외교통상부), and it was given jurisdiction over external trade.[7] In 2013, it reverted to its earlier name of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs following Park Geun-hye’s reorganisation plan, and the responsibility for trade matters was handed over to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, which was renamed the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.[8]

Organisation


The minister is supported by two vice-ministers, vice-ministerial-level chancellor of Korea National Diplomatic Academy and Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs.

List of ministers


  Denotes acting minister
No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office President
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Chang Taek-sang
장택상
張澤相

(1893–1969)
15 August 1948 24 December 1948 131 days
Rhee Syng-man
2 Yim Byeong-jik [ko]
임병직
林炳稷

(1893–1976)
25 December 1948 15 April 1951 2 years, 111 days
3 Byeon Yeong-tae
변영태
卞榮泰

(1892–1969)
16 April 1951 28 July 1955 4 years, 103 days
4 Jo Jeong-hwan [ko]
조정환
曺正煥

(1892–1967)
29 July 1955 21 December 1959 4 years, 145 days
Choi Kyu-hah
최규하
崔圭夏

(1919–2006)
Acting
22 December 1959 24 April 1960 124 days
5 Heo Jeong
허정
許政

(1896–1988)
25 April 1960 19 August 1960 116 days
Yun Bo-seon
6 Jeong Il-hyeong [ko]
정일형
鄭一亨

(1904–1982)
23 August 1960 20 May 1961 270 days
7 Kim Hong-il
김홍일
金弘壹

(1898–1980)
21 May 1961 21 July 1961 61 days
8 Song Yo-chan
송요찬
宋堯讚

(1918–1980)
22 July 1961 10 October 1961 80 days
9 Choe Deok-sin
최덕신
崔德新

(1914–1989)
11 October 1961 15 March 1963 1 year, 155 days

Park Chung-hee
(acting)
10 Kim Yong-shik
김용식
金溶植

(1913–1995)
16 March 1963 16 December 1963 275 days
11 Chung Il-kwon
정일권
丁一權

(1917–1994)
17 December 1963 24 July 1964 220 days
Park Chung-hee
12 Lee Dong-won [ko]
이동원
李東元

(1926–2006)
25 July 1964 26 December 1966 2 years, 154 days
(11) Chung Il-kwon
정일권
丁一權

(1917–1994)
27 December 1966 29 June 1967 184 days
13 Choi Kyu-hah
최규하
崔圭夏

(1919–2006)
30 June 1967 3 June 1971 3 years, 338 days
(10) Kim Yong-shik
김용식
金溶植

(1913–1995)
4 June 1971 2 December 1973 2 years, 181 days
14 Kim Dong-jo [ko]
김동조
金東祚

(1918–2004)
3 December 1973 18 December 1975 2 years, 15 days
15 Park Dong-jin
박동진
朴東鎭

(1922–2013)
19 December 1975 1 September 1980 4 years, 257 days

Choi Kyu-hah
16 Lho Shin-yong
노신영
盧信永

(1930–2019)
2 September 1980 1 June 1982 1 year, 272 days
Chun Doo-hwan
17 Lee Beom-seok
이범석
李範錫

(1925–1983)
2 June 1982 9 October 1983 1 year, 129 days
18 Lee Won-gyeong [ko]
이원경
李源京

(1922–2007)
15 October 1983 26 August 1986 2 years, 315 days
19 Choe Gwang-su [ko]
최광수
崔侊洙

(born 1935)
26 August 1986 5 December 1988 2 years, 101 days

Roh Tae-woo
20 Choe Ho-jung [ko]
최호중
崔浩中

(1930–2015)
5 December 1988 27 December 1990 2 years, 22 days
21 Lee Sang-ok
이상옥
李相玉

(born 1934)
27 December 1990 26 February 1993 2 years, 61 days
22 Han Sung-joo
한승주
韓昇洲

(born 1940)
26 February 1993 24 December 1994 1 year, 301 days
Kim Young-sam
23 Gong Ro-myeong [ko]
공로명
孔魯明

(born 1932)
24 December 1994 7 November 1996 1 year, 319 days
24 Yu Jong-ha [ko]
유종하
柳宗夏

(born 1936)
7 November 1996 3 March 1998 1 year, 116 days
25 Park Jeong-su [ko]
박정수
朴定洙

(1932–2003)
3 March 1998 4 August 1998 154 days
Kim Dae-jung
26 Hong Soon-young
홍순영
洪淳瑛

(1937–2014)
4 August 1998 14 January 2000 1 year, 163 days
27 Lee Jeong-bin [ko]
이정빈
李廷彬

(born 1937)
14 January 2000 26 March 2001 1 year, 71 days
28 Han Seung-soo
한승수
韓昇洙

(born 1936)
26 March 2001 4 February 2002 315 days
29 Choe Seong-hong [ko]
최성홍
崔成泓

(born 1938)
4 February 2002 27 February 2003 1 year, 23 days
30 Yoon Young-kwan
윤영관
尹永寬

(born 1951)
27 February 2003 17 January 2004 324 days
Roh Moo-hyun
31 Ban Ki-moon
반기문
潘基文

(born 1944)
17 January 2004 10 November 2006 2 years, 297 days
32 Song Min-soon
송민순
宋旻淳

(born 1948)
10 November 2006 29 February 2008 1 year, 111 days
33 Yu Myung-hwan
유명환
柳明桓

(born 1948)
29 February 2008 4 September 2010 2 years, 188 days
Lee Myung-bak
34 Kim Sung-hwan
김성환
金星煥

(born 1953)
8 October 2010 11 March 2013 2 years, 154 days
35 Yun Byung-se
윤병세
尹炳世

(born 1953)
11 March 2013 18 June 2017 4 years, 99 days
Park Geun-hye
36 Kang Kyung-wha
강경화
康京和

(born 1955)
18 June 2017 8 February 2021 3 years, 235 days
Moon Jae-in
37 Chung Eui-yong
정의용
鄭義溶

(born 1946)
9 February 2021 Incumbent 131 days

Key diplomatic tasks


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs engages in a number of diplomatic tasks that primarily aim to build international relationships, promote peace and protect the Republic of Korea and Korean nationals. According to the ministry website, these tasks aim to fulfil the national vision of a ‘nation of the people, a just Republic of Korea’. They are summarised below as follows: [9]

  • Peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and the establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula

Diplomatically achieve complete denuclearisation and build a ‘permanent and solid peace regime on the Korean Peninsula’.

  • Promotion of national interest through public and participatory diplomacy

Increase understanding and support of the Republic of Korea and its foreign policy through ‘strategic public diplomacy’ and encouraging public participation and communication.

  • Pursuing assertive cooperative diplomacy with neighbouring countries

Proactively and assertively strengthen cooperation with China, Japan and Russia with the ‘alliance between the Republic of Korea and the United States of America playing a central role’. As a gateway to tackling the North Korean nuclear issue and Eurasian diplomatic relations, the strengthening of these relationships aims to create a foundation for permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

  • Establishment of a Northeast Asia+ Community of Responsibility

Establish the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Platform and pursue its New Northern Policy and New Southern Policy with the aim of building a ‘peaceful and cooperative environment conducive to the long-term prosperity and survival of the Republic of Korea’.

  • Strengthening economic diplomacy and development cooperation to promote national interest

Create an international economic environment, increase engagement with emerging market countries and actively respond to climate change. Cooperatively increase contributions to the international community enhance national interest.

  • Strengthening the protection of Korean nationals traveling abroad and expanding support of overseas Koreans

Systemically protect and increase the benefits of Korean nationals residing abroad and ‘vitalize the Korean global network’ through strengthening their capacity.

2021 P4G Seoul Summit


The South Korean MoFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is involved in creating environmental policies and working with countries around the world to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). As such they are hosting the P4G Seoul Summit in late May 2021. The event will be done online due to the COVID-19 crisis, and will look into improving the current climate change situation. The summit will look into improving the global public-private cooperation.[10] The foreign minister Chung Eui-yong is particularly involved in this initiative as this has a significant impact on the relationship between the ROK and other countries such as the US and Denmark.[11]

June 2015 saw South Korea publish its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), an initiative by which countries focus on improving their environmental goals. The country set the aim of lowering emissions by 37% by 2030. As well as this, South Korea has participated in many initiatives to lower their carbon footprint such as the COP21 in Paris, ratifying the document in December 2015.[12] Korea has taken a ‘green growth’ approach to climate change but despite these efforts there was actually an increase in coal usage over the past decade. Predictions have shown that Korea is not likely to reach the set targets.[13] The MoFA, however, has been in close contact with Denmark to work together on their Green Growth Alliance (2011) in an attempt to make the P4G Seoul Summit a success.[14]

See also


References


  1. "Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade web page (Korean)". Archived from the original on 2008-04-28.
  2. "Location." (Archive) Ministry of Foreign Affairs (South Korea). Retrieved on January 1, 2014. "Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 60, Sajik-ro 8-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea (110-787)"
  3. "Home" (English). () Ministry of Foreign Affairs (South Korea). February 28, 2009. Retrieved on January 1, 2014. "37 Sejongno (Doryeom-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-787, Republic of Korea"
  4. Choi, Kwang-jin (January 2019). "The Republic of Korea's Public Diplomacy Strategy: History and Current Status" (PDF). CPD Perspectives.
  5. "HistoryMinistry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea". www.mofa.go.kr. Retrieved 2021-05-15.
  6. 외교부. "외교부 소개 | 외교부". www.mofa.go.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 2021-05-15.
  7. "Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Korea". 2010-12-06. Archived from the original on 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2021-05-15.
  8. 장재순 (2013-03-28). "English names of government ministries finalized". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 2021-05-15.
  9. "Key Diplomatic TasksMinistry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea". www.mofa.go.kr. Retrieved 2021-05-15.
  10. "Promotional Campaigns in Full Swing as 2021 P4G Seoul Summit Reaches D-30 Point View|Press Releases_| Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea". www.mofa.go.kr. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  11. 김승연 (2021-04-27). "Gov't holds preparatory meeting for P4G summit". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  12. "Climate ChangeMinistry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea". www.mofa.go.kr. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  13. "The Carbon Brief Profile: South Korea". Carbon Brief. 2020-04-06. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  14. "Outcome of Telephone Conversation between Foreign Ministers of Korea and Denmark View|Press ReleasesMinistry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea". www.mofa.go.kr. Retrieved 2021-05-16.