At a brief ceremony on 30 October, Ambassador Yoon Yeocheol unveiled a plaque marking the location of the first Korean legation to London, together with Mr Ian McDermott, representing the owners of the building. The building is at 4 Trebovir Road [map], a side street by Earls Court Station in West London, and is now owned by Peabody, a social housing organisation.
A small team of Korean diplomats occupied the house from 1901 to 1905, trying to gain international support for Korea as neighouring powers, particularly Japan, encroached on her sovereignty. The mission ultimately failed, and legation chief Yi Han-eung committed suicide in despair. Yi’s bust can be found in the current Korean embassy in Buckingham Gate.
The possibility of this plaque has been the subject of talks between the embassy and Peabody for a while, and it is fitting that the unveiling takes place in the year marking 140 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and Korea.
- More detail on the Embassy Facebook page (Korean only)