The 130th anniversary of Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation between Korea and the United States
May 22, 1882 - May 22, 2012
Concluded May 22, 1882;
Ratification advised by the Senate January 9, 1883;
Ratified by the President February 13, 1883;
Ratifications exchanged May 19, 1883;
Proclaimed June 4, 1883
United States: R. W. SHUFELDT, Commodore,
U. S. Navy, Envoy of the U. S. to Chosen
Korea (Chosen): Chosen Commissioners Shin Chen, Chin Hong-chi
The United States and the Kingdom of Choson (Korea) engaged in their first official diplomatic interaction on May 22, 1882, when representatives of the two states signed a treaty of amity and commerce at Chemulpo, Korea. The treaty had been negotiated with the assistance of Chinese officials, since China had for many years had influence in Korea’s foreign affairs due to a historical tributary relationship between the two countries. In fact, Korea was an independent state and this fact was acknowledged in the treaty. It was the first treaty Korea signed with a Western nation.
Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and Legation in Korea, 1883.
Diplomatic relations and the American Legation at Seoul were established on May 20, 1883, when Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary Lucius H. Foote presented his credentials to the King of Korea.
source: Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols and Agreements 1776-1909, Government Printing Office
S. RES. 279 (Full Text, PDF 4 pages) Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the 125th anniversary of the 1882 Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation between the Kingdom of Chosun (Korea) and the United States (July 24, 2007)
(source: gpo.gov) …Whereas 2007 marks the 125th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation between the Kingdom of Chosun (Korea) and the United States, concluded May 22, 1882, which was a seminal moment in relations between the United States and Korea…
Foreign Relations of the United States: Mr. Foote to Mr. Frelinghuysen Legation of the United States, Seoul May 24, 1883
(source: Foreign Relations of the United States)
- Selected Dates and Events of Asian Pacific American History
1882 The Treaty of Amity and Commerce allows Koreans to immigrate to the U.S.
- Early U.S.-South Korea Diplomatic Relations: Timeline
1882 May 22
The first treaty with Korea, the "Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation", was signed by Shufeldt and Korean Commissioners. It provided for the appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives; stipulated that U.S. vessels in distress or needing fuel could enter any Korean port or harbor and that American citizens in Korea would receive the protection of local authorities. It also specified that Korean subjects could pursue their "various callings and avocations" throughout the United States, however U.S. citizens could only do business in Korean open ports. The treaty was ratified in 1883.
- The First US Naval Attaché to Korea: George Foulk, HUMINT Pioneer Establishing Relations
… Finally, in 1882, a naval officer, Commodore William Shufeldt, successfully negotiated a comprehensive bilateral treaty with the “Hermit Kingdom” The treaty initiated trade relations and called for an exchange of legations. Korea sent a special delegation to the United States to deliver a signed copy of the treaty to the American government. This delegation also desired to observe American life. At the request of the State Department, the navy provided two junior officers who would act as escorts for the delegation's visit to Washington, New York, and Boston. One was Ensign George Foulk…
In 1883, the King of Korea appointed Min Yong-ik to serve as Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary to the U.S. A special delegation, headed by Hong Yong-sik, visited the U.S. to deliver a signed copy of the treaty to the American government and to study the customs and postal service, the public school system, fortification, etc. This delegation also desired to observe American life.
(front row from left) Interpreter Lowell, Hong Yong-sik, Min Yong-ik, So Kwang-bom (Photo/Donga Ilbo)
- All downloadable documents on this page are provided in PDF format. To view PDFs you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download a free version by clicking the link above.