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Extra info for American Diplomacy and Strategy toward Korea and Northeast Asia, 1882 - 1950 and After: Perception of Polarity and US Commitment to a Periphery

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In the Far East, Britain concluded the alliance with Japan in January 1902 so that the combined fleet of Britain and Japan could remain superior to the Russian and French fleet. 2 Faced with the conclusion of the Anglo-Japanese alliance in 1902, France and Russia also announced that their alliance in Europe extended to the Far East. France, however, remained reluctant to become embroiled in the conflict in the Far East when the German threat was rising in Europe and collaboration with Britain became more important than ever.

48 Such thoughts of Roosevelt’s were largely shared by his foreign policy team. During Roosevelt’s presidency, the foreign policy bureaucracy in Washington was quite amateurish, yet he was well supported by a small group of highly able senior officials. William Rockhill was the expert on Asian affairs in the administration. 49 Rockhill also had a brief experience in Seoul as Charge d’Affaires during the winter of 1886. But during that winter he was alarmed by the naked clash of imperialism over Korea and developed a very low opinion of the country.

Thus, Japan and Russia were poised to move into a more confrontational stage at the beginning of 1903, when Russia took an aggressive “new course” in Manchuria and northern Korea. Meanwhile, the United States consistently maintained a noncommittal stance over any diplomatic initiative that could entice it to a complex development over the Korean question. Seung-young Kim 3 Great Power Rivalry and US Assessment at the Outbreak of the War T heodore Roosevelt became president following the assassination of William McKinley in September 1901.

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