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.
Diplomatic relations and the American Legation at Seoul were established on May 20, 1883, when Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary Lucius H. Foote presented his credentials to the King of Korea.
Japan assumed direction of Korean foreign relations on November 17, 1905, and U.S. Envoy Edwin Morgan closed the Legation on November 28, 1905.