No. 297.
Mr. Dinsmore to Mr. Bayard.

No. 71.]

Sir: As reported to you in my dispatch of October 15, 1887 (No. 63), lion. O. N. Denny, vice-president of the Corean home office and foreign adviser to the King, left Seoul some days before that date for Tientsin, the place of the Viceroy Li Hung Chang’s official residence. He returned after an absence of some two weeks, and shortly after his arrival in Seoul I was invited, with Mr. Woeber, the Russian chargé d’affaires, by Mr. Denny to an interview with him upon the subject of the missions which His Majesty the King of Corea has undertaken to establish in the United States and in Europe. At this interview Mr. Denny kindly gave us a history of his conference with the Viceroy Li, at Tientsin, upon the subject of the missions already referred to, as well as the proposed opening of a port by the Government of Corea at Pyong An, in the north of Corea, which is greatly needed to develop and enlarge the commerce of the country and prevent the extensive smuggling that is practiced in that part of the Kingdom, principally by Chinese.

The position of the viceroy in behalf of China and of the Tsung-li Yamên as expressed by him is substantially as I have reported to you hitherto, namely, that China’s permission should first have been sought and obtained.

In this connection I have the honor to inclose a translation of a communication made by Yuan Sii Kwai on the 21st ultimo to the Corean foreign office, setting forth the language of a telegram received by him from the viceroy Li Hung Chang reporting the orders telegraphed to him by the Peking Government, expressing assent to the establishment of legations abroad with ministers resident only, and upon compliance with certain supposed forms, but arguing against it.

I have the pleasure to inform you that the minister will sail from Chemulpo on the 13th instant on the U. S. S. Omaha, for Nagasaki, at which port he will take passage on mail steamer, via Yokohama, to the United States, and that he will bear credentials from His Majesty the King of Corea as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary.

I have, etc.,

Hugh A. Dinsmore.
[Inclosure in No. 71.]

Mr. Yuan Sü Kwai to the Corean Foreign Office.

Yuan Sü Kwai makes official communication to the Corean foreign office.

On the 21st of October I received from the viceroy Li Hung Chang a telegram stating that on October 19 he had received instructions from the Imperial Government of China, saying: “The Corean Government has notified us of the circumstances of the affair, and have expressed their disposition to obey. We are very glad. As Corea has concluded treaties with foreign powers, the treaty powers have mutually the right to send ministers, so if the Coreans appoint ministers and send them they may do so. But on the other side the financial resources of Corea are not great. Her trade is not in a prosperous condition, and the needs of the country grow year by year, and thereby the country may become by and by involved. If, therefore, they are going to send ministers to foreign countries who will have but little to do, it will be [Page 441] necessary to increase more and more the public expenditures; therefore if expenses are not curtailed it may happen that it may be necessary to recall them or seek to secure loans. The debts and the poverty will increase daily, and the Government may not have the means to meet its liabilities. If this news should reach foreign countries they certainly would laugh at the Corean representatives, and thereby a spot would be placed upon the honor of the country. Certainly they have not considered this.

“The King of Corea must look with confidence on China as his best protector.

“The question of appointing ministers must be carefully considered from beginning to end, and investigated with great care, and then they should decide how to proceed. With regard to the appointment of the ministers and their position the forms must be observed which apply to Corea as a dependent State.

“Li Hung Chang has already reported by telegram that Corea will act according to the regulations. At the same time Corea must address itself to Li Hung Chang in other matters which may arise in the future, to consult with him and obey his instructions, then all will be well.

“Besides the instructions I have received from the minister of ceremonies I must say myself (Li Hung Chang) that when Corea has firmly decided to send ministers, they must be ministers resident only, and in no event ministers plenipotentiary; the rank must be of diplomatic agents of the third class as laid down in international law, to show by this means the difference between Corea and China. In this way I do not object. I have told this to Mr. Denny in a personal interview that he may inform the King.

“I hope he will inform the foreign office of the question now under consideration.” Of the receipt of this I now inform you, asking you to be so kind as to take it into consideration and act according to the imperial instructions.