On January 12 (Sun.), 2020, during a visit to Washington D. C., the last city he visited in the U. S. during the tour, Mayor Park Won-soon of Seoul visited the “Old Korean Legation in Washington D.C.,” the symbolic space for the independence of diplomacy in the last period of Joseon.
The Old Korean Legation in Washington D. C. is the first legation that was established in a Western country in the history of Korea, in February 1889. It was used as a Korean legation in the U. S. for 16 years. It is regarded as the milestone of the beginning of the independent diplomacy during the late Joseon period that aimed to expand its diplomatic horizon. The building is more meaningful in that it is the only 19th-century legation in Washington D.C. that remains intact.
Kathleen Stephens, the director of the Korea Economic Institute, accompanied Mayor Park during the mayor’s visit to the Old Korean Legation, sharing a conversation while looking around the historic space that represents the amicable diplomatic relationship between Korea and the United States. As a distinguished pro-Korean figure, Kathleen Stephens served as the former American Ambassador to Korea.