Dokdo, the First Victim of Japan’s Aggression Against the Korean Peninsula
04. “Hwangseong’s Duty,”
Daehan Maeil Shinbo (November 21, 1905)
Daehan Maeil Shinbo
“Hwangseong’s Duty,” Daehan Maeil Shinbo (November 21, 1905)
Regarding the Eulsa Restriction Treaty, the Hwangseong Shinmun made the following truthful report yesterday: the speech by the Korean Emperor, in which he justly and clearly refused the unreasonable request by Ambassador Ito; an intrusion into the royal palace by many Japanese soldiers who advanced very close to the throne and their demonstration of threats; high-handed measures employed by Ambassador Ito, both blackmailing and enticing the ministers of the Korean court; refusal by the Korean deputy prime minister to stamp his seal on the treaty; and the gross misdeeds committed by each of the ministers in betrayal of their monarch and fathers and the loss of national sovereignty.
The newspaper also offered the view that, because the Emperor did not grant royal permission for the treaty and the deputy prime minister did not stamp his seal on it, it will be inevitably invalid. They surmised in advance the hardship that they would surely encounter if they were to release this report. They did not have it censored and distributed it early in the morning. They held to their position and waited. Indeed, the Japanese police and others came to arrest Jang Ji-yeon, the newspaper’s president, and suspended its publication.
Alas! The people of the Hwangseong Shinmun did not only forsake their duty as journalists but also represented all of the Korean people as manifesting just and faithful fidelity to the world. Upon reading an editorial titled “Bangseong Daegok (I Wail Bitterly on This Day)”, there is no subject of the Korean Empire who will not wail, and any just person with a good heart anywhere around the world must deplore and be resentful [about Korea's dire situation]. Alas! The pens of the Hwangseong Shinmun journalists may well compete with the sun and moon over which are brighter.