In the colonial period, Koreans went to Japan to learn about the West and the West learned about Korea through Japan. As a result, the situation in Korea did not allow Korea to have diplomatic relationships with other countries, and it was extremely hard to get a direct connection with the West. As an inevitable consequence, the relationship and interactions of Korea and Sweden relied on Japan. However, there were some direct exchanges between Korea and Sweden by individuals in the 1920s. It was the start of the cultural interaction between the two countries. The Swedish crown prince visited Korea and took part in the excavation in Kyôngju. The essential part of the Korean collection in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities is the objects donated by His Majesty King Gustaf VI Adolf. There was a political tension between Japan and Korea regarding the hegemony of Korean objects. Regardless of the concealed intention of the Japanese government surrounding this visit, however, the Swedish crown prince comprehended the aesthetic value of the objects with his insight into the history and meaning of Korean objects. Ch’oe Yŏngsuk was the only direct window for introducing Korean things to Sweden during her residence in Sweden, and she was actively using her unique position to introduce Korea to Sweden and deliver its own voice. Her intensive life and ambitions to devote herself to being a herald of Korea let her have rich connections with the Swedish royal family, professors, and Swedish Christian associations. Her life was short, but she increased knowledge of Korea by communicating with Swedish people, addressing the Korean perspective, and making Korea visible in late 1920s Sweden. These two direct interactions and the following awareness of the two countries during the colonial period paved the way for the relationship between the two countries until their formal diplomacy started. Many undiscovered histories between the two countries still remain, and they will tell us more about the connections and unknown fascinating stories of Korea and Sweden.
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