Gojong made an effort to realize a monarch-centered autocracy after having sought refuge at the Russian legation. In the process, the penultimate monarch of Joseon induced a confrontation between the royal office and the Independence Association in order to strongly take over the government and expand his political influence. This mutual confrontation of political power became the cause of the political conspiracy incident after the royal refuge at the Russian legation. One of the major conspiracy incidents was the so-called “conspiracy case for the royal bodyguard officer” known as the case of an attempt of the bodyguard officers to abduct Gojong in collusion with a Japanese in November 1896.
This incident was resulted from a direct connection between the Japanese and the forces connected with Japan. The Japanese legislature in Korea tried to cut off the connection between the bodyguard officers and the Japanese legislature in Korea when the “conspiracy case for the bodyguard officer” came up with a forged rule requesting protection from the Japan Corporation in Korea. This could provide a foundation for Gojong to naturally liquidate a person related to Japan within the bodyguard when the Japanese were involved in the rebellion and assassination cases.
Lee Geun-yong, commander of the bodyguard battalion, who was sentenced for this case, was punished for the fact that the detective for the case was insolvent, not for participating directly in the “conspiracy case for the bodyguard officer.” Lee Geun-yong reported the development of the case to Gojong in advance, and even received Gojong’s direct instructions. This means the fact that Gojong directly intervened in the “conspiracy case for the bodyguard officer.” At that time, a Russian diplomat in Korea also identified Gojong’s involvement in the incident.
In the “conspiracy case for the bodyguard officer” there was a situation of Japanese intervention, and Gojong attempted to politically reverse it. Gojong expanded the conspiracy case to eliminate the Japanese forces inside the bodyguard and used it as a means to eliminate the opposition forces among the government ministers and the Independence Association. In the end, King Gojong was hiding behind this incident, and he intended to strengthen the loyalty of the military through the liquidation of the pro-Japanese group among the bodyguard by using the “conspiracy case for the bodyguard officer”, and to strongly seize the government’s minister after the establishment of the Independence Association. This incident shows that King Gojong attempted to take control of the government and manage the government by using a political conspiracy incident to strengthen his influence.