American Diplomacy and Strategy toward Korea and Northeast by Seung-young Kim

By Seung-young Kim

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Additional info for American Diplomacy and Strategy toward Korea and Northeast Asia, 1882 - 1950 and After: Perception of Polarity and US Commitment to a Periphery

Sample text

He was Seung-young Kim GREAT POWER RIVALRY AND US ASSESSMENT AT THE OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 33 a natural leader with astonishing intellectual and physical vigor and displayed an almost instinctive feel for the major currents of his era. 34 He saw the world as inextricably interdependent by the turn of the century and urged Americans to assume, in an honorable manner, the responsibility bestowed upon them. 35 Such a view was motivated by both real politik calculations and a belief in the need to spread Western civilization.

As the spoils of war, Japan received Taiwan and the Liaotung peninsula, as well as an indemnity of about two hundred million Tail (three hundred million Yen) from China, thus establishing both its influence in Korea and its new role as an imperial power in Asia. During the war, Korea and Britain reached out to the United States with a view to seeking its assistance in mediation. But the United States stopped short of making an effort for mediation, though it showed sincerity in keeping the good office clause during the early stages of the war.

It sought to encourage reform through such activities as publications, lectures, memorials, and demonstrations. The club urged Korean leaders to pursue independent and neutral foreign policy and to develop modern national defense capabilities including a navy. It also promoted the people’s rights movement in line with Western liberalism and sought to introduce constitutional monarchy by inaugurating a Senate. Its bilingual newspaper, The Independent, was the first vernacular newspaper in Korea and efficiently served as a vehicle to spread the messages of reform and patriotic nationalism.

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