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The pretext was timber development, based on a concession that a Russian merchant had secured from the Korean government in 1898. But Russia sent forty former Russian soldiers along with Chinese bandits and Korean laborers into Yongampo and quickly fortified the area. 9 Japan tried to utilize the Yongampo crisis as an opportunity to settle the broader issues of spheres of influence. Thus, from August to December of 1903, a series of diplomatic notes were exchanged to designate the spheres of influence over Korea and Manchuria.

This move was influenced by the German lease of Kiaochow Bay in the Shantung Peninsula in 1897 but was in line with Russia’s decades-long efforts to secure an ice-free port in the Far East. 38 In Korea as well, Japan tried to expedite pro-Japan reform and the imposition of a protectorate, but the forceful measures of Japan made the Korean court lean further toward the Russian side. To prevent such a tilt toward Russia, the Japanese Minister in Seoul employed brutal measures. ” But the murder turned out to be counterproductive for Japan, at least in the short term.

He was also a close friend of Roosevelt and, as will be elaborated later, his agreement with Katsura was fully consistent with the dominant views in the Roosevelt administration. 36 AMERICAN DIPLOMACY & STRATEGY TOWARD KOREA & NORTHEAST ASIA Horace Allen represented the United States in Seoul until spring 1905. He started working in Seoul as a highly successful medical missionary for the Presbyterians in 1884 but later became a US diplomat and remained at the center of diplomatic rivalry in Seoul.

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