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The official national name of Netherlands is Koninkrijk der Nederlanden, often called Holland. The official English name is the Kingdom of the Netherlands, commonly known as the Netherlands or Holland.

Holland was originated from Holland state, divided into south and north state at present, which played an important role of winning independence in the war against Spain.

"Netherlands" means "the land of lowlands" or "a lowland area" in Dutch, representing the place where the land is lower than the sea. It is a very good word which expresses the location of Netherlands.

The nation's population consists of 83% Dutch, and 17% other nationalities or races that include Turkish, Moroccan, and immigrants from old colonies such as Suriname or Indonesia. Interestingly, Dutch are tall people with a mean height of 182. 5 cm for male and 170. 5cm for female.

The religion includes 31% Catholic, 21% Protestant, 4. 4% Islam, and others 3. 6%, and non-religious or those without religion are peg at 40% (data as of 1998).

Netherlands was in its glory in the 17th century with full of ups and downs. In 1602, the first stock company, that is, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) was established in the world to open up East Asia. It won the right of possession in the war of spicery trade with Portugal, making a large trade profit.

In addition, the VOC seized the right of trade in East Asia by going into Taiwan and Japan with its foothold in Batavia.

Since many ships of the VOC used Amsterdam, one of the biggest ports of trade in the world, culture as well as business grew in prosperity. In particular, many Dutch artists' jobs greatly contributed to introduce Dutch culture into the world with Rembrandt at the helm. Netherlands still remains as the center of Western painting.

However, the long-term war with England and France and civil war wasted national strength, and the absolute government of the VOC, that is, the rule of "the 17 Lordships" brought about political conflict.

This experience taught Netherlands a good lesson of historical powerlessness, resulting in the organization of Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxemburg) which was the first successful trial in the light of the federation of nations in 1946.

Soon after, Netherlands became a member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and ECC (European Economic Community). In 1950, Indonesia under its colonial rule for 300 years became independent.

Some think the relations begun in 1653 when Hamel was shipwrecked in Joseon. But,in 1627, Jan Janse Weltevree (renamed Park Yeon in Korean), who was a Dutch sailor, was already cast away in Joseon with his two mates. Even so, neither Weltevree was the beginning of the relations.

In 1907, Lee Jun was sent to the International Peace Conference held in The Hague, Netherlands to defy Japanese invasion, but he died without achieving his object due to Japan's interference.

Thereafter, Netherlands had chances to conclude official amity with Korea by the good offices of Western European countries including Belgium, but they failed. Finally, in 1661, a separate amity was concluded.

In Dec. 1968, the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Korea was established. In Oct. 1969, the Korean Embassy in Netherlands was built. More recently, in 2001, Netherlands succeeded in concluding a treaty of amity with North Korea.

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