The Korea Herald

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S. Korea to open 10 new embassies

By Choi Si-young

Published : Nov. 7, 2023 - 18:26

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

South Korea will open 10 new embassies overseas next year to provide manpower and resources increasingly needed to support its rising global profile, the Foreign Ministry in Seoul said Tuesday.

Countries that will see the new Korean diplomatic missions are: Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, Jamaica, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Marshall Islands, Sierra Leone, Slovenia and Zambia. Among the ten nations, Georgia and Jamaica will see their previous embassy-level offices promoted to official embassies.

Seoul will also open embassy-level offices in Botswana and Suriname, according to a senior ministry official, who noted those offices technically do not make up diplomatic missions, which include embassies and consulates.

“There is this consensus within the ministry and elsewhere that the county could take advantage of a better overseas network of people, so to speak,” the official said, referring to the upcoming two-year term for Korea to serve as one of the 10 nonpermanent members of the UN Security Council.

Beginning in January next year, Seoul will sit on the UN’s most powerful body, which includes five permanent members with veto power: the US, UK, France, Russia and China. Korea won in June the election for one of the five nonpermanent seats that are replaced each year.

The latest plan to expand missions is part of a broader push for the Korean government to deliver on what it calls its role as a “global pivotal state.” The Yoon Suk Yeol administration says Seoul is as much invested in giving back to the international community as it is in advancing its own interests.

Details on how Korea plans just to do so will be unveiled soon, the ministry has said. The new embassies are expected to be up and running in the second half of next year at the earliest.