Hungary did not have official relations with the Republic of Korea until the end of 80’s. The Hungarian reform-process and President Roh Tae-woo’s „open-policy” directed towards the former socialist countries created the base for the development of relations between the two countries. Hungary has concluded first among the former socialist countries the agreement with the Government of the Republic of Korea on the establishment of permanent missions on 13th September, 1988, and the two countries agreed to establish diplomatic relations at Ambassadorial level on 1st February, 1989. Diplomatic Missions have been working in both capitals.
After the establishment of diplomatic relations mutual high ranking visits took place and numerous official visits from different Ministries were also realized.
At the same time of the normalization of political relations the institutional base for the bilateral relations was created: intergovernmental agreements were concluded on the investment protection, on the avoidance of double taxation, on the cooperation of trade, economic and culture, on the scientific and technological field, on the visa exemption, and on air traffic and tourism cooperation. The Intergovernmental Economic Committee was also established.
There have been no problems in our cooperation, the basis of our relations are the common interest, the similarity of our democratic values. Hungary considers the Republic of Korea as his main political and economic partner in the North-East Asian region. The membership of Hungary in the European Union since May, 2004 has broadened our scope and opened new possibilities for the Republic of Korea as well for the improvement of his political, economic relations with Hungary.
Our high level relations have been systematical, Hungary underlines the importance of the Prime Minister Mr. Ferenc Gyurcsány’s visit to Seoul in March, 2005, when four Agreements and three Memorandum of Understanding were signed. During the visit of Mr. Gábor Demszky, Mayor of Budapest in Seoul in July, 2005 the Cooperation Agreement on the two capitals was concluded. The relation between the two Parliaments has been continuous, Katalin Szili, Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly visited Korea in August, 2006. Kinga Göncz, Minister for Foreign Affairs reciprocated Ban Ki-moon’s visit of December 2005 in April, 2007. Important event of recent times was the visit of Han Duck-soo in Hungary in September 2007. He was received by László Sólyom, President of Hungary, and he had a meeting with Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány. In November 2009 South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has invited László Sólyom, President of Hungary for an official visit. The aim of the visit was to strengthen the bilateral relationship in several fields including economics, culture and science. In March 2012 President Pál Schmitt attended the second Nuclear Security Summit held in Korea and was invited by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak for a working luncheon. During the meeting they have reviewed the the bilateral affairs between Hungary and South Korea and discussed about the main guidlines for extending future cooperation.
Out of the political, economic relations we consider also the technological-scientific cooperation to be important, and it is also significant to us that Hungary has become a target-country for the South-Korean tourism in Europe. The aim of the Agreement on Visa Exemption signed in 1991 is to improve the tourism.