Wednesday, February 20, 2008

King Kojong’s secret letter to German Emperor in 1906

(I couldn’t find any English version of this article, so I briefly translated it and introduced the story. Please refer the Korean New article if you can read Korean.)

King Kojong’s secret letter to German Emperor in 1906 which bore the Royal Seal of the King was found for the first time from the German National Archive.

After Chosun lost its diplomatic right by the Ulsa treaty concluded under Japanese compulsion in 1905, Kojong tried to inform unfairness of the treaty to the international society and sought international support for Chosun’s independence. It is considered so far that his letter in June 1907 sent by Jun Lee to the International Peace conference in Hague of Netherlands on July 1907 was his first attempt. However, recently found secret letter to Kaiser Wilhelm II was one year earlier. He was asking Germany’s support for Chosun's independenc, however it was not delivered to Kaiser because German Ministry of Diplomacy decided not to.

King Kojong and his family

I could feel the urgency and despair of King Kojong in this letter. Chosun’s power was already declined and when he tried to take advantage of great powers, it created more dependency toward foreign countries and undermined independent political powers in domestic politics. King Kojong sought protection from Russian Tzars, German Kaisers, Japanese Emperors, and American Presidents but no treaty could save him or his country from Japan’s colonization.

No comments: