Japanese Invasions of Korea: Could They Be Prevented?

Subject: Warfare
Pages: 2
Words: 307
Reading time:
< 1 min

In my opinion, there was a real possibility for the intervention of Russia to become a turning point in the establishment of dominance over Korea by Japan. In other words, had Russia offered its help in the form of military force, it would be possible to imagine a more favorable outcome for Korea.

In support of this assumption, I would like to bring up the opinion of Chang Chiyŏn, a reformist Confucian and an important figure in the journalism of the country at the time. His daily publication, Hwangsŏng Sinmun, contains multiple references to the Russian army as a formidable force and, on some occasions, classify it as one of the primary military forces in the world at a time. At this point, it is worth mentioning that the Russian army had experienced a major failure in the recent Russo-Japanese War, the fat which Chang Chiyŏn attributed to the outstanding moral and ethical qualities of the Japanese soldiers, which also was a predominant view of the nation at the time.

However, I would also like to clarify that other experts pointed to the fact that while the warrior code could play a certain role, the main reason behind Japan’s success lies in its extraordinary effort aimed at modernization of its troops and military tactics and, perhaps more importantly, the ability to mobilize all available resources. Provided that the Russian army could by this time reach the same level of development of its military (which was happening at the time), it is reasonable to imagine a more favorable outcome for the Koreans in the event. Importantly, Russia could also be interested in such a scenario due to the fact that its reputation on a strategic scale was damaged after the defeat and could benefit from such counteraction.