South Korea–United Kingdom relations

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British – South Korean relations
Map indicating locations of United Kingdom and South Korea

United Kingdom

South Korea
Korean President Park Geun-hye and British Prime Minister David Cameron on November 6, 2013, in London.

The relationship between the Republic of Korea and United Kingdom spans from the 18th century to the present day.


The United Kingdom occupied Geomun Island, and renamed as Port Hamilton in 1885. The relationship between two nations had broken off during the Korea under Japanese rule (1910-1945). After the WWII, South Korea established diplomatic ties with the United Kingdom on January 18, 1949. The United Kingdom fought alongside South Korea & other allied nations during the Korean War. Almost 100,000 British servicemen fought in the Korean war. Their most famous involvement was the confrontation with Chinese soldiers at the Imjin River. 600 soldiers of the British Army took on a force of 30,000 Chinese troops crossing the Imjin River in Korea. At the end of the battle 10,000 Chinese troops had fallen. British losses stood at just 59 and this battle is considered a turning point in the war as it halted the Chinese advance. There is a memorial for British soldiers at Solma-Ri, South Korea. 1,078 British soldiers died fighting in the Korean war.

There is a British embassy in Seoul and a South Korean embassy in London. The UK & South Korea cooperate in world events with other nations such as the United States. They have recent military relations and the UK supports South Korea's view over the current North Korea - South Korea dispute.

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