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

By Seung-young Kim

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Against this backdrop, the confrontation between Japan and Russia further escalated in Manchuria and Korea. During the Boxer uprising in 1899, Russia deployed its troops in Manchuria to protect its railways but did not withdraw them after the uprising was pacified. Instead, it machinated to consolidate its grip on Manchuria through a series of bilateral agreements with China. 3 By that time, the United States also shared a common interest with Japan in keeping Open Door in Manchuria. 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.

14 By this time, despite its reservations about military intervention in Asia, the United States was involved in the game of great powers in the Far East. Since its acquisition of the Philippines, Guam, and its annexation of Hawaii in 1898, US policy was not merely based on the pursuit of commercial interest any longer. Moreover, with the help of many innovations in its Navy and Army by the turn of the century, 15 the US military had acquired a capability to support its diplomacy toward the Far East.

25 But Russia continued to close Manchuria with its military occupation, thus Roosevelt Seung-young Kim 32 AMERICAN DIPLOMACY & STRATEGY TOWARD KOREA & NORTHEAST ASIA came to support Japan’s efforts to keep Manchuria open, while recognizing Japanese freedom of action in Korea. 26 Washington continued to instruct the American diplomats in Seoul to secure American economic interests. 28 But such pursuit of economic interests did not induce the United States to develop a military, diplomatic commitment toward Korea.

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