The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is an international non-governmental organization of museums around the world, that was founded in 1946. The Korean National Committee of ICOM (ICOM Korea) was established in 1976 as a national committee under ICOM. Former Director-General of the National Museum of Korea, Choi Sun-woo was appointed as the first chairperson of ICOM Korea. Mr. Choi laid the foundation for the subsequent activities of the National Museum of Korea for ICOM.
One of the most significant ICOM activities undertaken by the National Museum of Korea was co-hosting the triannual General Conference & General Assembly of ICOM (ICOM 2004 Seoul), which was held in 2004 in Seoul with the cooperation of ICOM Korea and the Korean Museum Association. ICOM 2004 Seoul was the first General Conference & General Assembly held in Asia. The conference theme was “Museums and Intangible Heritage”. It was a success in terms of both management and academic achievement. During ICOM 2004 Seoul, ICOM revised the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums. The National Museum of Korea, as a member of the Committee for Publication of the Korean Version of the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums, contributed to the publication of the official Korean version of the revised Code (May 2007).
In recognition of the importance of protecting cultural heritages and museum collections, the Museum hosted the 1st International Conference of International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) at the National Museum of Korea in December 2011, along with ICOM Headquarters and ICOM Korea.
The National Museum of Korea is actively involved in the annual General Assembly of ICOM and the triannual General Conference & General Assembly of ICOM. The Museum promotes international exchange in a wide range of areas, including academics, human resources, information, and policy.