By Seung-young Kim
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Extra resources for American Diplomacy and Strategy toward Korea and Northeast Asia, 1882 - 1950 and After: Perception of Polarity and US Commitment to a Periphery
William Rockhill was the expert on Asian affairs in the administration. 49 Rockhill also had a brief experience in Seoul as Charge d’Affaires during the winter of 1886. But during that winter he was alarmed by the naked clash of imperialism over Korea and developed a very low opinion of the country. Later he wrote: “Korea is the place . . 51 Secretary of state John Hay had extensive experience as a diplomat in Europe and, thus, was well aware of the rivalry among the European powers in the Far East.
Thus, with the support of Britain and the United States, Japan sought to induce the withdrawal of Russian troops and to keep Manchurian ports and cities open to all powers’ economic activities. 7 But the situation looked exactly the opposite in Russia, though it did not consider a war with Japan as an imminent possibility. Japan’s active moves to keep the Open Door in Manchuria Seung-young Kim GREAT POWER RIVALRY AND US ASSESSMENT AT THE OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 29 contributed to strengthening the voices of such hardliners as Bezobrazov, while isolating moderate voices represented by Witte in the Russian court.
67 But these efforts were exerted most actively after the fortune of the kingdom was sealed at the final stage of the Russo-Japanese War. In the eyes of Western observers before the war, Kojong was portrayed as an indecisive and weak monarch, not as a shrewd and Machiavellian despot. 69 Korea’s modern military force was trained under Western and Japanese military advisors but remained less than one brigade. Before the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War, Kojong examined the conscription to strengthen the Korean military forces.
American Diplomacy and Strategy toward Korea and Northeast Asia, 1882 - 1950 and After: Perception of Polarity and US Commitment to a Periphery by Seung-young Kim