Grundtvig's Dream has come true in Korea

Korean Studies Seminars 2014

Ambassador Young-sam Ma, Embassy of the Republic of Korea (Denmark)

Ambassador Ma’s lecture intends to compare and contrast how Denmark and Korea overcame many obstacles. He will also present how Grundtvig’s teaching has played a role in the process of Korea’s development. He wants to pose the question of how Korea and Denmark can further cooperate in their efforts to bring about global peace and prosperity.


In terms of distance, Korea and Denmark are far away from each other. But the two countries share many similar experiences. For example, the land mass of the two countries have been repeatedly reduced throughout their history. Both have limited natural resources, and nature has not always been very helpful either.

In terms of the friendly relations between the two countries, in 1902 a Treaty of Commerce was concluded between the two countries. Also, the dispatch of the Danish hospital ship JUTLANDIA during the Korean War has been an exemplary case of humanitarianism. These days, the two countries are cooperating with each other more closely than ever before under the foundations laid down by the Green Growth Alliance.

Hence, political, economic, social and cultural cooperation between the two countries are on the rise. In particular, many business opportunities are emerging. Now, Grundtvig’s dream is being tested in developing countries through close cooperation between Korea and Denmark.


Mr. Young-sam Ma has been a career diplomat since 1981, and is currently serving as the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Denmark.

He served at the Korean Embassy in Washington D.C. and the Korean Mission to the UN. He was the Head of the Korean Representative Office in Palestine in 2005, and served as the Korean Ambassador to Israel from 2008 to 2011.

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul, Ambassador Ma was the Director of the UN Human Rights Division, and the Director-General for Africa and Middle East Affairs. More recently, he served as the Ambassador for Public Diplomacy.

Also, Ambassador Ma is an International Umpire of Table Tennis, and is currently the Co-Chair of the International Working Group on Sport and Persons with Disabilities, which is linked to the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP).

Free entry, all welcome.