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Diplomatic Policy of Goryeo with Jin and Dongmoonwon(同文院)

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2015, (119), pp.201-240
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Jounghoon Lee 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to examine the true nature of Dongmoonwon, which was the sole organization that was charged with the responsibility of Goryeo’s foreign policy toward Jin(金) Dynasty, with a view to understand how Goryeo navigated itself through the diplomatic theater with Jin. In the 4th year(1126) in the Reign of King Injong(仁宗), Goryeo finally decides to take the course of allegiance to Jin interms of its foreign policy, upon which Goryeo sent its messengers to established an official diplomatic relationship. As Goryeo voluntarily subordinated itself under Jin, it could be expected that, as far as Goryeo did not revolt or resist Jin, there would not be any problem between the two countries. However, in September of the 4th Year in King Injong’s Reign, Jin raised the issue of Goryeo’s control of aterritory called Boju(保州) and demanded that Goryeo submit a letter of allegiance to Jin to declare its loyalty. As Goryeo hesitated to comply with the demand, Jin kept coming up with the Boju issue, throwing its weight on Goryeo and urging it to submit the letter of allegiance. Until the 7th Year(1129) of King Injong’s Reign, when Goryeo finally obeyed, there was an ongoing nerve of wa rbetween Goryeo and Jin. The root of such a disagreement on the letter of allegiance can be found in the difference in how they looked at the allegiance. Jin demanded Goryeo to submit itself to an even more intense level of self-subordination. However, Goryeo was only willing to subordinate itself in the same extent it did to Liao(遼) or Song(宋). Therefore, Jin’s demand for such a letter was something more than Goryeo was willing to comply with. However, the fact that Goryeo submitted the letter means Goryeo now decided to accept the level of allegiance Jin demanded. This, again, means that Goryeo now has to pay more attention and elaboration in diplomacy with Jin than it did with Liao or Song. Also, this means that Goryeo now has to navigate itself through the diplomacy with Jin not in the way it did before. For this, Goryeo followed the precedence of Song, which established a separate bureau which was entirely responsible for correspondences with a certain country around the 7th year in King Injong’s Reign. The name of this bureau was Dongmoonwon, which was responsible for drafting diplomatic documents, attending the messengers from Jin, and other diplomatic affairs with that particular country. With such a move, Goryeo tried to address the pressure it was getting from Jin and maintain a stable diplomatic relationship. The fact that Goryeo never established any other bureau of such kind than Dongmoonwon clearly indicates the nature of the diplomatic relationship between Goryeo and Jin, as well as how seriously Goryeo took its relationship Jin and tried to respond pro-actively.

Citation status

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