No. 194.
Mr. Bingham to Mr. Fish.

No. 363.]

Sir: At an interview on yesterday his excellency Mr. Kweoda, late the Japanese ambassador to Corea, gave me some account of the people and resources of that country and of his reception. He informed me that the people are in great poverty, live chiefly on rice and fish, are poorly housed and poorly clad, and are intensely hostile to foreigners. He also informed me that there is no coal or iron or copper in the country, and doubts whether it is rich in gold, though they gather small quantities of gold-sand, it is said, about $130,000 of which in value they annually send to China. He further states that the whole population does not exceed 10,000,000, and that their forts and arms are indifferent. He says the tide rises in the bay approaching the town of Kakwa from 33 to 36 feet, and that at low water there are but from 2 to 3 fathoms in the harbor. On the evening of his approach to the shore with his vessel, at night fall, there appeared on the hills near the coast many fires and many people. After some parley with the men whom he sent off in a small boat, the minister was received and taken to the capital, [Page 371] which is protected, as I understand him, by double parallel walls and gates.

As the treaty has not yet been published, Mr. Kweoda made no statement of its details, but seemed satisfied with the result.

I do not know that any effort will at present be made by the other powers to negotiate a treaty with Corea.

I have, &c.,