Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions. Yu Hyongwon and the Late Choson Dynasty - James B. Palais

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less, King Injo undertook to rebuild the N amhan fort and fended off inquisitive
Ch'ing officials by telling them that the action was justified by Japan's recent
aggressive behavior, but in r 639 he was forced by the Manchus to destroy recentl y
built cannon turrets at the fort,
The most the Korean court could do to render aid to the Ming court under
these circumstances was to pass intelligence and delay Ch'ing requests for mil-
itary reinforcements. Chief State Councilor Ch'oe Myonggil made frequent trips
to Shen-yang to assuage Manchu ire, but defiance of Manchu demands proved
costly and difficult. In 1640, the Manchus charged that in a campaign against
Ming forces Korean infantry arrived late and Korean warships failed to fire on
Ming vessels and that Korean anti-Manchu obstructionists were responsible for
twelve violations of the surrender agreement of r 637, At a meeting with top
Korean officials at Uiju on the Yalu River the Manchu authorities arrested and
imprisoned Kim Sanghon and other well-known anti-Manchu officials, and in
1642 they arrested Ch'oe Myonggil for secretly conferring with Ming officials
in China?2
Inside Korea the factional split between the Elder and Young Westerners was
exacerbated by their conflicting attitudes toward Ch'ing hegemony. Kim Yu and
Kim Chajom of the Elder Westerners advocated a realistic acceptance of
Manchu hegemony. but they were opposed by other Westerners such as Yi Sibaek
and his younger brother, Yi Sibang (both sons ofYi Kwi), Kim Chip, Song Siyol,
and Song Chun 'gil, and the prominent leader ofthe Southerner faction, Ho Chok.
Yi Sibaek was favored by both the king and the anti-Manchus because during
the Manchu siege of the Namhan fort only he and his troops from the Defense
Command opposed the Manchu demand to surrender anti-Manchu officials.
Both sides suffered casualties in the political struggle: Kim Yu was dismissed
in 1637 and later exiled, and on the other side, Yi Sibang's confidante and suc-
cessor as commander of the Defense Command, Sim Kiwon, who favored accom-
modation with the Manchus, was arrested in r644 for allegedly plotting a coup
against King Injo. The official version of the plot was that he wanted to replace
Injo with a minor member of the royal family, Prince Hoeun (the Hoeun'gun),
but one of his collaborators testified (probably falsely) under torture to a plot
that seems to have been out of character for Sim. He claimed that Sim planned
to attack and kill the Manchu troop escort of Crown Prince Sohyon, who was
due to return home from Shen-yang to observe his father-in-law's funeral, and
then send their heads to the Chinese as a sign of good faith, after which Korean
forces would join Ming troops against the Manchus. Injo was not to be deposed
but forced into retirement as a Sangwang (Superior or Retired King) and
replaced by the crown prince. One suspects that the confession may have been
concocted by Sim's enemies.
Kim Chajom tried to eliminate his anti-Manchu rivals Yi Sibaek and Yi Sibang
by having the putative anti-Manchu Sim Kiwon executed and justifying it by
putting out the story that he had really been planning a purge ofthe anti-Manchu
idealists - the so-called "clear stream" (ch'Ongnyu) scholars.^23 He then tried to

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