본문 바로가기
  • Home

Secretive Contacts between Joseon and the Ming Dynasty after the Second Manchu Invasion of Joseon in 1637

Lee Jae-kyung 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Previous works on Joseon’s foreign relations have focused on Joseon’s response to the Ming-Qing transition. In the course, the year of 1637, when the Qing dynasty subjugated Joseon, was regarded as a turning point. However, the Ming dynasty had not perished until 1644, and unofficial contacts between Joseon and the Ming dynasty through the smuggling route across the Yellow Sea continued even after their official relationship was cut off. Secret contacts between Joseon and the Ming dynasty can be divided into three phases. During the first phase(1637-1638), Ming admiral Chen Hongfan(陳洪範) tried to appease Joseon in order to get Joseon’s cooperation on his attempt to construct a new military base on the Yellow Sea, which would replace destroyed Dongjiangzhen(東江鎭) Garrison on Gado(椵島) Island. The Joseon court appreciated his sympathy for Joseon’s difficult situation, but denied his demands and rejected future contacts from him. For the second phase(1638-1640), the Qing dynasty ordered Joseon to send its troops to attack Ming territory. In response, Joseon sent the monk Dokbo(獨步) as a secret envoy to Ming to inform that Joseon inevitably had to send soldiers for Qing’s aid. The third phase(1640-1644) was composed of two sub-phase. From 1640 to 1642, Ming dispatched its navy to Joseon for three times to gain Joseon’s military support. Joseon ostensibly welcomed Ming officials but rejected any urge of military cooperation. From 1642 to 1644, the Qing dynasty noticed the secretive contacts and cracked down on Joseon. Meanwhile, the agents of secret contacts got arrested and removed from power in both countries. Thereafter, secretive contacts between the two countries were cut off to the end of the Ming dynasty. While secretive contacts with Joseon was just a diplomatic and military choice to Ming, for Joseon they were an ideological way to practice its moral obligation to the Ming dynasty(對明義理) and a realistic policy to guarantee its survival in unpredictable chaos of the war between Ming and Qing. Ming’s goal was to acquire Joseon’s military support, whereas Joseon only wanted the Ming dynasty to understand its inevitable situation. Thus, secret contacts between the two states naturally ended in vain. Meanwhile, secretive contacts between Joseon and the Ming dynasty made possible by smuggling network across the Yellow Sea. In the process, the will of the two central governments had to be filtered and distorted by the agents with their own personal and economic aims. As a result, their participation affected the course of the secretive contacts.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.