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HOME > Hamel Pavilion > Joseon and Netherlands > The beginning of relationship

Then, when did Dutch-Korean relations begun?
Many people associate relations with Netherlands with Hamel.

As widely known, Hamel was not the first Dutch to relate with Korea. In 1627, Park Yeon (Jan Janse Weltevree in Dutch) was shipwrecked in Joseon, married a Joseon woman, and ended his days in Joseon. But it does not necessarily mean that the relations of two countries began with Park Yeon's shipwreck.

In fact, Netherlands already planned to have trade with Korea when it established abranch office in Hirato, Japan.

This fact is very significant in the history of international relations including Netherlands and Japan as well as Korean history.

On Nov. 3, 1610, the first chief of VOC branch in Hirato, Jacques Specx wrote a letter back home about the importance of trade with Joseon in the future to the "17 Lordships".

Forty five (45) days later, the prince Maurits sent a reply that Japan gave permission to have trade in 1609.

In thissense, it is reasonable that Joseon-Dutch relations began in 1610, not in 1653 when Hamel and his mates were shipwrecked in Jeju.
Europe already had quite an amount of knowledge about Korea and Japan through the missionaries even before ¡ºThe Journal of Hendrick Hamel¡»was introduced to Europe.

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