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The Change of Gamriseo(監理署; the Superintendent Office) into the Office exclusively for Foreign Affairs during Korean Empire

Min Hoi Soo 1

1홍익대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Gamriseo(監理署; the Superintendent Office), made for the management and supervising of the Korean Maritime Customs(海關) in late 19th century, lost its original function and turned into the public office for the control over foreigners in 1896. And the new regulation for Gamriseo, named “The Administrative Laws and Rules for Every Superintendent Offices at the Treaty Ports and Open Markets”, was made in 1899. According to it, the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs(外部) over the local administration performed by Gamri(監理; the Superintendent) became more clear, with that of the Department of the Interior(內部) put the brakes on. At the same time, the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior over Gamri was allowed only in case of the affairs related to foreigners, which meant that the duties of Gamri would be more specialized in that of the control over foreigners. Gamri and the local government chief became separated on January, 1903. This step was taken to relieve Gamri's burden of business superficially, but actually because of the conflict on the district merger of Gil-Joo(吉州) and Seong-Jin(城津) in Ham-Gyoung Do(咸鏡道). It was an operational vacuum of Gamriseo which its occupation by the violent demonstrators caused and lasted for a long while, that made the step of the separation(Gamri and the local government chief) taken as complementary measures for such a problem due to holding the position of the local government chief concurrently by Gamri. Consequently, Gamriseo turned again into the public office taking exclusive charge of the control over foreigners.

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