Ministry of Foreign Affairs (South Korea)
|Formed||17 July 1948|
|Jurisdiction||Government of South Korea|
|Headquarters||60, Sajik-ro 8-gil|
110-787, South Korea
|Annual budget||KR₩1,520 billion (about US$646 million) (2010)|
|Website||Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (English)
The Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs was created in 1948 following the Government Organisation Law under the Rhee Syng-man administration. It undertook matters of foreign policy, protection of overseas Korean nationals, international economy, treaties, diplomacy and the assessment of international and overseas public relations. 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”. Shortly after the Ministry was established, overseas missions in the United States, the United Kingdom and France were set up.
In 1963 the Educational Institute of Foreign Service Officers was established to further educate foreign public officials and improve their work efficiency. In 1965 the Educational institute became the Research Institute of Foreign Affairs. In December, 1976 the Research Institute was reorganised again to become the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Security. 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.
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. 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.
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
|Term of office||President|
|Took office||Left office||Time in office|
|15 August 1948||24 December 1948||131 days|
|25 December 1948||15 April 1951||2 years, 111 days|
|16 April 1951||28 July 1955||4 years, 103 days|
|29 July 1955||21 December 1959||4 years, 145 days|
|22 December 1959||24 April 1960||124 days|
|25 April 1960||19 August 1960||116 days|
|23 August 1960||20 May 1961||270 days|
|21 May 1961||21 July 1961||61 days|
|22 July 1961||10 October 1961||80 days|
|11 October 1961||15 March 1963||1 year, 155 days|
|16 March 1963||16 December 1963||275 days|
|17 December 1963||24 July 1964||220 days|
|25 July 1964||26 December 1966||2 years, 154 days|
|27 December 1966||29 June 1967||184 days|
|30 June 1967||3 June 1971||3 years, 338 days|
|4 June 1971||2 December 1973||2 years, 181 days|
|3 December 1973||18 December 1975||2 years, 15 days|
|19 December 1975||1 September 1980||4 years, 257 days|
|2 September 1980||1 June 1982||1 year, 272 days|
|2 June 1982||9 October 1983||1 year, 129 days|
|15 October 1983||26 August 1986||2 years, 315 days|
|26 August 1986||5 December 1988||2 years, 101 days|
|5 December 1988||27 December 1990||2 years, 22 days|
|27 December 1990||26 February 1993||2 years, 61 days|
|26 February 1993||24 December 1994||1 year, 301 days|
|24 December 1994||7 November 1996||1 year, 319 days|
|7 November 1996||3 March 1998||1 year, 116 days|
|3 March 1998||4 August 1998||154 days|
|4 August 1998||14 January 2000||1 year, 163 days|
|14 January 2000||26 March 2001||1 year, 71 days|
|26 March 2001||4 February 2002||315 days|
|4 February 2002||27 February 2003||1 year, 23 days|
|27 February 2003||17 January 2004||324 days|
|17 January 2004||10 November 2006||2 years, 297 days|
|10 November 2006||29 February 2008||1 year, 111 days|
|29 February 2008||4 September 2010||2 years, 188 days|
|8 October 2010||11 March 2013||2 years, 154 days|
|11 March 2013||18 June 2017||4 years, 99 days|
|18 June 2017||8 February 2021||3 years, 235 days|
|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:
- 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
- "Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade web page (Korean)". Archived from the original on 2008-04-28.
- "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)"
- "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"
- Choi, Kwang-jin (January 2019). "The Republic of Korea's Public Diplomacy Strategy: History and Current Status" (PDF). CPD Perspectives.
- "HistoryMinistry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea". www.mofa.go.kr. Retrieved 2021-05-15.
- 외교부. "외교부 소개 | 외교부". www.mofa.go.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 2021-05-15.
- "Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Korea". 2010-12-06. Archived from the original on 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2021-05-15.
- 장재순 (2013-03-28). "English names of government ministries finalized". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 2021-05-15.
- "Key Diplomatic TasksMinistry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea". www.mofa.go.kr. Retrieved 2021-05-15.
- "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.
- 김승연 (2021-04-27). "Gov't holds preparatory meeting for P4G summit". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
- "Climate ChangeMinistry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea". www.mofa.go.kr. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
- "The Carbon Brief Profile: South Korea". Carbon Brief. 2020-04-06. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
- "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.