Joseon–United States Treaty of 1882

A Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation[2] (Korean: 조·미수호통상조약, Hanja: 朝美修好通商條約), also known as the Shufeldt Treaty, was negotiated between representatives of the United States and Korea in 1882.[3][4]

Joseon–United States Treaty of 1882
Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation
Signed22 May 1882 (1882-05-22)[1]
LocationChemulpo, Korea
Effective19 May 1883
Expiration29 August 1910 (1910-08-29)
LanguagesEnglish and Korean

The treaty was written in English and Hanja,[5] with the final draft being accepted at Chemulpo (present day Incheon) near the Korean capital of Hanseong (now Seoul) in April and May 1884.[6] It was Korea's first treaty with a western nation.[7] After the United States signed the Taft–Katsura agreement, the intervention clause was neglected.



In 1876, Korea established a trade treaty with Japan after Japanese ships approached Ganghwado and threatened to fire on the Korean capital city. Treaty negotiations with the U.S. and with several European countries were made possible by the completion of this initial Japanese overture.[8]

Negotiations with Qing were a significant feature of the process which resulted in this treaty.[9] The Chinese played a significant role in the treaty negotiation, although Korea was an independent country at the time, which was explicitly mentioned in the treaty.[7]

Treaty provisions


The United States and Korea negotiated and approved a 14 article treaty. The treaty established mutual friendship and mutual assistance in case of attack; and the treaty also addressed such specific matters as extraterritorial rights for U.S. citizens in Korea and most favored nation trade status.[2][10]



The treaty encompasses a range of subjects.

  • Article 1 provides:

There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between the President of the United States and the King of Joseon and the citizens and subjects of their respective Governments. If other powers deal unjustly or oppressively with either Government, the other will exert their good offices on being informed of the case to bring about an amicable arrangement, thus showing their friendly feelings.[10]

  • Article 2 ... exchange of diplomatic and consular representatives[10]
  • Article 3 ... United States vessels wrecked on coast of Korea[10]
  • Article 4 ... United States extraterritorial jurisdiction over its citizens in Korea[10]
  • Article 5 ... merchants and merchant vessels shall reciprocally pay duties[10]
  • Article 6 ... reciprocal rights of residence and protection of citizens of both nations[10]
  • Article 7 ... prohibiting export or import of opium[10]
  • Article 8 ... export of "breadstuffs" and red ginseng[10]
  • Article 9 ... regulating importation of arms and ammunition[10]
  • Article 10 .. reciprocal rights to employing native labor[10]
  • Article 11 .. students exchanges[10]
  • Article 14 .. the usual most-favored-nation clause[10]

The treaty remained in effect until the annexation of Korea in 1910.



Joseon sent a diplomatic mission to the U.S. in 1883, marking the first ever such official visit to America by Koreans.[11] The U.S. treaty established a template which was explicitly modeled in treaties with European nations — Germany in 1883, Russia and Italy in 1884, France in 1886, and others as well.[12]

The treaty remained in effect even after the Japanese protectorate was established in 1905,[13] but ended with the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910.

See also



  1. ^ "About this Collection | United States Treaties and Other International Agreements | Digital Collections | Library of Congress" (PDF). Library of Congress. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-12-26.
  2. ^ a b United States. Dept. of State (1889). John H. Haswell (ed.). Treaties and conventions concluded between the United States of America since July 4, 1776. G.P.O. p. 216.
  3. ^ Korean Mission to the Conference on the Limitation of Armament, Washington, D.C., 1921-1922. (1922). Korea's Appeal to the Conference on Limitation of Armament, p. 17., p. 17, at Google Books; excerpt, "It is certain that in 1882 the United States recognized the independence and territorial integrity of Korea by entering into a treaty of amity and commerce with her as a separate national entity. The treaty was in due form. It was ratified by the Senate and in regular course it was formally "proclaimed" by President Arthur. Japan was the first nation to officially "congratulate" both Korea and the United States upon its consummation. This fact is noted in the report of Hon. John A. Bingham to Secretary Frelinghuysen, April 14, 1883. As though to emphasize the international effect of this treaty in recognizing this national entity, China protested the sending of Korean ministers to the United States, claiming suzerainty over Korea. The protest was patiently and fully considered on its merits and was overruled. Later China, conceding the position of the United States, also recognized, by specific treaty the independence and separate entity of Korea. Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Belgium, Denmark, and Italy, following the course of the United States, also made treaties of amity and commerce with Korea as a separate nation." [italics + bold added for emphasis]
  4. ^ Paullin, Charles Oscar (1910). "The Opening of Korea by Commodore Shufeldt". Political Science Quarterly. 25 (3): 470–499. doi:10.2307/2141171. ISSN 0032-3195. JSTOR 2141171.
  5. ^ "History of Korea".
  6. ^ Yŏng-ho Ch'oe et al. (2000). Sources of Korean Tradition, p. 235, p. 235, at Google Books; excerpt, "Korea signed a similar accord with the United States (the Treaty of Chelump'o, 1882) that was followed by similar agreements with other Western nations."
  7. ^ a b Office of the Historian, Foreign Service Institute. "Korea". A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776. United States Department of State. Retrieved July 14, 2020. The United States and the Kingdom of Choson (Korea) engaged in their first official diplomatic interaction on May 22, 1882, when representatives of the two states signed a treaty of amity and commerce at Chemulpo, Korea. The treaty had been negotiated with the assistance of Chinese officials, since China had for many years had influence in Korea's foreign affairs due to a historical tributary relationship between the two countries. In fact, Korea was an independent state and this fact was acknowledged in the treaty. It was the first treaty Korea signed with a Western nation.
  8. ^ Kim, Chun-gil. (2005). The History of Korea, pp. 107-108., p. 107, at Google Books
  9. ^ Kang, Woong Joe. (2005) The Korean struggle for International identity in the foreground of the Shufeldt Negotiation, 1866-1882, p. 136., p. 136, at Google Books; Kang, Jae-un (2006). The Land of Scholars: Two Thousand Years of Korean Confucianism, p. 459., p. 459, at Google Books; Pletcher, David M. (2001). The Diplomacy of Involvement: American economic expansion across the Pacific, 1784-1900, p. 186., p. 186, at Google Books
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Korean Mission, p. 29., p. 29, at Google Books; excerpt, "Treaty and Diplomatic Relations Between the United States and Korea. Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation dated May 22, 1882."
  11. ^ "보빙사 (報聘使)" [Bobingsa]. Encyclopedia of Korean Culture (in Korean). Retrieved 2024-01-27.
  12. ^ Kim, p. 107., p. 107, at Google Books
  13. ^ Korean Mission p. 36., p. 36, at Google Books; excerpt, "Official rescript issued by Japan, November 22, 1905, declares: 'In bringing this agreement to the notice of the powers having treaties with Korea, the Imperial Government declares that * * * they will see that these treaties are maintained and respected, and they also engage not to prejudice In any way the legitimate commercial and industrial interests of those powers in Korea'".


  • Kang, Woong Joe. (2005). The Korean Struggle for International Identity in the Foreground of the Shufeldt Negotiation, 1866-1882. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America. ISBN 9780761831204; OCLC 62241660
  • Kang, Jae-un. (2006). The Land of Scholars: Two Thousand Years of Korean Confucianism. Paramus, New Jersey: Homa & Sekey Books. ISBN 9781931907309; OCLC 60931394
  • Kim, Chun-gil. (2005). The History of Korea. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313332968; OCLC 217866287
  • Korean Mission to the Conference on the Limitation of Armament, Washington, D.C., 1921-1922. (1922). Korea's Appeal to the Conference on Limitation of Armament. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office. OCLC 12923609
  • Yŏng-ho Ch'oe; William Theodore De Bary; Martina Deuchler and Peter Hacksoo Lee. (2000). Sources of Korean Tradition: From the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Centuries. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231120302; ISBN 9780231120319; OCLC 248562016
  • Pletcher, David M. (2001). The Diplomacy of Involvement: American Economic Expansion Across the Pacific, 1784-1900. Columbia: University of Missouri Press. ISBN 9780826213150; OCLC 45829081

Further reading