World Expo

  • History
  • The BIE
  • Korea in World Expos
Korea's Footprints in Expo


  • BIE accession: 1987
  • First participating Expo: 1893 Chicago Expo
  • First Expo hosted: 1993 Daejeon Expo (celebrating 100 years of Expo participation)

The 1893 Chicago Expo was the first World Expo in which Korea participated.
The Chicago Expo, held for about six months, celebrated the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America.

Following the Chicago Expo, Korea participated in the 1900 Paris Expo. However, Korea did not participate in the World Expo again until 1962 (in Seattle) due to Japanese imperialism (1910-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953).

One hundred years after its first participation in the 1893 Chicago Expo, Korea hosted the recognized Daejeon Expo in 1993.

Expo 1993 Daejeon is significant as it was the first BIE-accredited world fair held in a developing country. For this reason, it is considered a milestone in the history of Korea’s involvement in the Expo.

Korea in World Expos

Year Venue Theme Korean Pavilion Theme
1893 Chicago Fourth Centennial of the discovery of America -
1900 Paris Evaluation of a century -
1962 Seattle Man in the Space Age -
1967 Montreal Man and his World -
1968 San Antonio Confluence of civilisations in the Americas -
1970 Osaka Human progress into harmony Bell of Peace
1974 Spokane Celebrating Tomorrow's New Environment Echoes of the Land of Morning Calm
1975 Okinawa The Sea we would like to see Ties through the Ocean
1982 Knoxville Energy turns the World A New Horizon for Korea
1984 New Orleans The World of Rivers - Fresh water as a source of life Korea : A New Wave of Progress
1985 Tsukuba Dwellings and surroundings - Science and Techniology for Man at home Korea : a Valuable Past, for the Future
1986 Vancouver Transportation and Communication
(World in Motion - World in Touch)
Korea: A Nation of Discovery
1988 Brisbane Leisure in the age of technology Korea : Venue of the 1988 Olympics
1992 Genoa Columbus, Ship and Ocean Korea: Your Partner from the East
1992 Seville Age of Discovery The Partner of Discovery
1993 Daejeon The challenge of a new road to development -
1998 Lisbon Oceans - a Heritage for the Future Lively Ocean as the Site of Living
2000 Hanover Humanity, Nature, Techonogy Water, The Origin of Life
2005 Aichi Nature's Wisdom Light in Life
2008 Zaragoza Water and Sustainable Development Dialogue of Aqua
2010 Shanghai Better City, Better Life Friendly City, Colorful Life

※ Source: BIE, “Themes of the Korea Pavilion” provided by KOTRA