On Friday 14 to Saturday 15 June, President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook visited Sweden at the invitation of The King. The aim of the state visit was to strengthen and promote the excellent relations between Sweden and the Republic of Korea, with 2019 marking 60 years of diplomatic links between the two countries.
The President was accompanied by several ministers from the Republic of Korea's government and a large industry delegation during the two-day visit, which took place in Stockholm.
The King and Queen welcomed President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook at the Royal Stables. The King and Queen and the Presidential couple then travelled by cortège, accompanied by escort troops and standard bearers from the Royal Life Guards, to the Royal Palace.
The welcoming ceremony was held in the Inner Courtyard, where members of the public had the opportunity to greet the Presidential couple. After the national anthems had been played, The King and the President inspected the Grenadier Company from the Life Guard. The Presidential couple and The King and Queen then greeted representatives from the Riksdag and the Swedish Government, who had gathered to welcome the Presidential couple.
Gifts were exchanged in the Pillared Hall, and The Crown Princess Couple and The Prince Couple also attended.
The King and President Moon Jae-in then gave statements to the media in Queen Lovisa Ulrika's Dining Hall. The King said:
"Sweden and the Republic of Korea share fundamental values of democracy, human rights and an open economy. This forms a solid foundation for our friendship. And this state visit is a manifestation of our wish to strengthen our ties even further."
» Read the speech in full here.
Photo: Sara Friberg/The Royal Court of Sweden
During the morning, President Moon Jae-in met Speaker Andreas Norlén at the Riksdag building. The President also gave a speech in the Second Chamber, which The King and Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström attended. In his speech, the President spoke about peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.
The Queen and Mrs Kim Jung-sook visited Silviahemmet, where they were welcomed by Deputy Operational Manager Petra Tegman and Coordinator Maria Tannemyr. After a presentation of Silviahemmet's operations, The Queen and the First Lady had the opportunity to meet some of the guests.
The King and Queen then hosted a lunch for the Presidential couple at the Royal Palace, which was also attended by The Crown Princess Couple and The Prince Couple.
In the afternoon, The King and President Moon Jae-in visited Ericsson Studio in Kista together with Minister for Enterprise Ibrahim Baylan. They were welcomed by Ericsson's CFO Carl Mellander, Vice President and Head of Government and Industry Relations Ulf Pehrsson and Head of Ericsson in South Korea Håkan Cervell.
Ericsson is an important partner in the development of 5G in South Korea, and the visit included demonstrations of various applications for the technology. These included a link-up to an existing 5G service in South Korea to remote control a sky ship in Seoul from Ericsson Studio in Kista. An e-sports match was also arranged between Sweden and South Korea from the stage.
The King, the President and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven then attended the Sweden-Korea Business Summit at Hotel at Six in Stockholm, where they were welcomed by Chairman and CEO of Korea International Trade Association (KITA) Kim Young Ju and CEO of Business Sweden Ylva Berg.
The Sweden-Korea Business Summit brought together more than 200 representatives from leading businesses, start-ups and investors from Korea and Sweden. The seminar dealt with social innovation, including growth and innovation that will be made possible by future technologies such as e-mobility, renewable energy, artificial intelligence and biomedicine.
The first day of the state visit concluded with The King and Queen's gala dinner for the Presidential couple at the Royal Palace.
The guests were welcomed to the Vita Havet Assembly Rooms. The dinner was then held in Karl XI's Gallery.
The King accompanied the President's wife Kim Jung-sook to the table. The Republic of Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha was seated to his left.
The Queen was accompanied to the table by President Moon Jae-in. The Republic of Korea's Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Sung Yon-mo was seated to her right.
The Crown Princess was accompanied to the table by the Republic of Korea's Deputy National Security Advisor Kim Hyon-chong. President Moon Jae-in was seated to her right.
Prince Carl Philip accompanied Third Deputy Speaker Kerstin Lundgren to the table. First Lady Kim Jung-sook was seated to his left.
Princess Sofia was accompanied to the table by the Republic of Korea's Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Sung Yon-mo. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven was seated to her right.
Prince Daniel accompanied the Republic of Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha to the table. Minister Isabella Lövin was seated to his left.
The table silver was from the Brazilian silver service. The service is so called because it previously belonged to the Brazilian imperial family. The starter plates and dessert dishes were made by Hackman-Rörstrand Gustafsberg, designed by Karin Björquist, and were a gift from the Riksdag and the Swedish Government to The King on his 50th birthday. The porcelain used for the fish course belonged to Queen Josefina and dates from the late 19th century. The porcelain used for the meat course belonged to the Grand Duchess of Baden, and was made in around 1850 in Berlin.
White asparagus with cream of wild garlic, roe from Älvdalen,
crudité of radish and rye crisps
Butter-baked pike-perch, puy lentils,
salt-baked beets and mussel sauce
Swedish fillet of veal noisette with herb crust,
poached artichoke, baked onion and tarragon gravy
Rhubarb mousse with poached rhubarb,
sour cream ice cream and salted chocolate crumbs
During the evening, The King gave a speech in which he said:
"Mr President, this state visit will focus on topics including digitalisation, sustainability and research. These are areas where there is exceptional potential for new cooperation and exchanges.
"I am delighted that we can confirm the excellent relations between Sweden and the Republic of Korea in this way. And I hope that this state visit will be the starting point for continued progress together."
State visits are the highest form of visit between two countries, and take place at head of state level. In Sweden, it is therefore The King who invites dignitaries on state visits to Sweden and who carries out state visits abroad.
» Find out more about state visits here.