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This blog may contain not-so-strong languages and slightly strong ecchi pictures. Please proceed with caution.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Kingdom of Sweden-Republic of Korea Diplomatic Relations

Foot Note: Julie's last name, Sigtuna is bestowed from the Municipality of Sigtuna in Greater Stockholm.
English/Engelska: Extract from SwedenAbroad - Embassy of Sweden in Seoul
Sweden-South Korea Relations are foreign relations between Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of KoreaSweden provided medical support for South Korean Soldiers during the Korean War. Full diplomatic relations between Sweden and South Korea were established on March 11th 1959. Sweden has an embassy at 8th Floor, DanAm Building, 10 Sowol Avenue/Sowollo, Namdaemunno 5-ga 120-beonji, Seoul Jung-gu while South Korea has an embassy at 10 Laboratoriegatan, Östermalms Stadsdelsområde, Stockholm.

Contact between Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of Korea date back to the 18th century when Lorenz Lange, one of the officers who served King Charles XII of House of Pfalz-Zweibrücken in 1720s. That time, Sweden is in Russian Empire captivity and Sir Lange served for the Russian Empress on that time, Catherine I. He met Joseon-Korean diplomats in Beijing, PROC in conjunction with their annual representation to the Chinese-Qing Dynasty Emperor. This recorded meeting was most probably the first time a Swede came in direct contact with Koreans. Johan Philip von Stralenberg is another Swede who produced the first Swedish Map of the World with Korea clearly indicated on the map. It was published in Stockholm in 1730.

After the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, Sweden supported the UN resolution to send military personnel to South Korea and got actively involved by dispatching a military Red Cross field hospital with Swedish personnel. Over one thousand Swedish relief members took part in the hospital service in Busan during the war, taking care of over two million  patients. After the Korean war there was a great need for medical service and training of Korean medical personnel. The Swedish Field Hospital became the Swedish Hospital in Busan after 1953, and the Swedish medical team stayed until 1957, when it was transformed into the National Medical Center – the Scandinavian Hospital – in Seoul. The hospital in Seoul was opened in 1958, one year before the diplomatic relations between Sweden and the Republic of Korea were established.

Since the end of the Korean War in 1953 Sweden has had a delegation in the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) and numerous Swedish officers have served in Panmunjom ever since the armistice agreement was signed.

South Korea and Sweden have taken care of the opportunity to develop mutual supportive cooperation in many ways as South Korea’s economy has grown and become one of the largest economies in the world. Foreign trade has played a key role in both Sweden’s and South Korea’s modernization. Swedish and Korean companies, large as well as smaller ones, consider the global market as the natural environment to succeed. Significant exchanges have taken place between two countries regarding issues of development.

There are more than seventy Swedish companies in the Republic of Korea and all the big Korean brands are familiar to Swedes. Korea is Sweden's third trading partner in Asia - after China and Japan and the fourth export market after Japan, China and India. There is always scope for increased trade flows between two countries, and the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement under negotiation will open further opportunities in the future.

The ideas of inventors and innovations have laid the foundation for industries and corporations, which have played an important role for Sweden’s and South Korea’s road to prosperity. Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize, was one of Sweden's greatest inventors and industrialists. The Nobel Prize has been awarded since 1901 for outstanding achievements, and President Kim Dae-jung received the Nobel Peace Prize in year 2000. Research co-operation between Sweden and Korea is growing. But it is still at a modest level by international comparison. There is room to increase exchange of researchers and students in the coming years.

Sweden and Korea have both benefited from the globalization, as their prosperity is built on international trade and the ability of its companies to compete in global markets. Sweden promotes free trade, open to both export and  import, to the benefit of consumers and companies globally. Korean Industrial groups - like Samsung, Hyundai, LG, Daewoo - operate globally and have established a strong position in Europe. Globalization can only be met by enhanced competitiveness at home, and openness to others, not by isolation and inward looking protectionism. An ambitious result in the WTO Doha Development Round is a Swedish priority.

The ongoing negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Korea is also of great importance, by focusing on areas currently outside the WTO such as investment rules, trade in services and the removal of non-tariff barriers. The agreement is comprehensive and ambitious in coverage, aiming at the highest possible degree of trade liberalization. A successful result will give significant economic benefits for both Sweden and South Korea. Export in services from the EU is expected to increase 50% by this agreement. For Korea the agreement will also have a major impact and estimations expects the exports to the EU to rise significantly.


Swedish/Svenska: Extract from Sakerhets Politik  
Sverige upprättade diplomatiska förbindelser med Sydkorea 1959 (ambassad först 1977) och med Nordkorea 1973 (ambassad sedan 1975). Sverige har goda förbindelser med Sydkorea och handelutbytet har de senaste åren ökat kraftigt. Handeln med Nordkorea är närmast obefintlig.  

Sverige har sedan länge haft förbindelser med Sydkorea och bidrog redan under Koreakriget 1950-53 med ett fältsjukhus i Busan. Sverige vill bidra till en freds- och avspänningsprocess på den koreanska halvön och till att bryta Nordkoreas internationella isolering.

De flesta stora svenska/multinationella företag finns representerade i Sydkorea. Sedan början av 1990-talet, då många företag lämnade landet på grund av den djupa ekonomiska krisen, har svenska företagsetableringar ökat kraftigt och Sydkorea är idag Sveriges fjärde största exportmarknad i Asien.

Sverige är skyddsmakt åt USA i Nordkorea. Det innebär att Sverige vid behov sköter ärenden som rör amerikanska intressen i Nordkorea, eftersom USA inte har några diplomatiska relationer med landet.

Sverige är en av de större bidragsgivarna till landet efter USA, Japan och Sydkorea. Det svenska biståndet till Nordkorea uppgår till cirka 40 miljoner kronor om året och kanaliseras via FN, Rödakorsfederationen och enskilda internationella organisationer.

Sverige deltar i den särskilda övervakningskommissionen NNSC (Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission) som upprättades efter Koreakrigets slut 1953.

NNSC övervakar gränsen mellan Nord- och Sydkorea och kontrollerar att det spända läget inte trappas upp och att vapenstilleståndsavtalet mellan länderna efterföljs. Ett fredsavtal har aldrig slutits och situationen är fortfarande spänd efter de incidenter som har skett de senaste åren i området. Nära 900 svenska officerare har tjänstgjort i Panmunjom under årens lopp.

På gränsen mellan Nord- och Sydkorea övervakar NNSC vapenstilleståndsavtalet mellan länderna. Sverige deltar i arbetet sedan 1953 och kontrollerar att det spända läget inte trappas upp.

Övervakningen av Armistice Agreement, vapenstilleståndsavtalet mellan Nord- och Sydkorea, sköts av NNSC, Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission. NNSC består av representanter från Schweiz och Sverige – som bidrar med fem officerare var. Delegationens camp ligger i Panmunjom, platsen där vapenstilleståndsavtalet skrevs under efter Koreakriget och där både fångutväxling och samtal har skett sedan dess.

NNSC:s huvudsakliga uppgift har sedan starten varit att vara en neutral och oberoende part mellan Nord- och Sydkorea samt eventuella allierade. Men uppgifterna har förändrats med åren. I dag handlar arbetet inte bara om att kontrollera så att vapenvilan bevaras, utan också om så kallade utökade kontrolluppgifter. Det kan handla om rutinmässiga helikopterflygningar längs med den demilitariserade zonen, inspektioner av observationsplatser och att delta i undersökningsgrupper som utreder exempelvis beskjutningar eller hantering av avhoppare.

NNSC har löpande kontakter med sydsidan – United Nations Command, US Forces Korea samt den sydkoreanska försvarsmakten. Några kontakter med nordsidan förekommer för närvarande inte.