On July 5, 2016, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Mark Lippert announced to the media at Busan City Hall that the “American Presence Post in Busan” is being officially designated as the “U.S. Consulate in Busan.” Ambassador Lippert also made the same announcement at the Independence Day reception that evening.
The decision to formally upgrade the U.S. official presence reflects the importance and vitality of Busan and the southern provinces of the Republic of Korea. Increasing the profile and capabilities of the U.S. official presence in Busan will enhance our ability to engage with this dynamic region and its people, to further strengthen U.S.-Korean relations.
The U.S. Consulate in Busan will over time increase its staffing, programs and services. This will benefit both Korean and U.S. citizens in this region.
The U.S. Government first opened a Consulate in Busan in 1984. It remained in operation until 1998, when it closed due to budgetary constraints. When the post reopened in 2007, it was on a smaller scale that focused primarily on public diplomacy and did not offer consular services. Although we have continued to refer to it as a “Consulate” in Korean to emphasize its status as a U.S. diplomatic post, its official designation within the U.S. Department of State since 2007 had been “American Presence Post,” a term we use to designate small U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world which offer limited services.
We are pleased to begin a new phase in our longstanding presence in South Korea’s second largest city with this restoration of the official “consulate” designation, and the corresponding expansion of our activities in this vital and vibrant locale.