Murder of Empress Myongsong

The history of Japanese militarists’ invasion of Korea records many unprecedented brutalities which shook the world community. Among them is the heinous crime of murdering Empress Myongsong in 1895 (the Year of Ulmi), which is called the Ulmi Incident.

The incident was a state-sponsored terrorist act engineered by the Japanese government with an eye to realizing at any cost its policy of invading Korea on the verge of bankruptcy.

The Japanese militarists’ moves to colonize Korea reached its extreme by the end of the 19th century.

But, their colonial enslavement policy met with great difficulties due to the pro-Russian policy of the feudal Joson dynasty. Having come to a conclusion that it could not colonize Korea without taking a decisive measure, the Japanese reactionary government found the way out in killing the Empress. It attempted to turn the pro-Russian policy of the feudal Joson dynasty to the pro-Japanese policy by killing the Empress who was ruling the country on behalf of the then Emperor Kojong.

It designated informally Lieutenant General Miura Koro as the best man for the assassination and appointed him as its diplomatic minister to Korea.

Miura, who was granted with an absolute authority to mobilize all means necessary for realizing the plot, came to Hansong in September 1895 (the seventh month by the lunar calendar) and made a detailed plan and carried it forward secretly.

At dawn on October 8, the Japanese hooligans broke into Konchong Palace, the Emperor’s residence, to detain him and the Crown Prince and then to Konnyong Hall, the bedchamber of Empress Myongsong. They stabbed to death at random the court ladies running away with a piercing cry, as they thought that the Empress must be among them. In a moment, the palace turned into a sea of blood.

After identifying that a still-breathing and bleeding woman among the dead women was the Empress, they rolled up her in a quilt, put her on a pyre they had already prepared in a pine forest near Konnyong Hall, poured petroleum on it and burned her to death. In a bid to remove the traces of their crime, they threw her ashes into a nearby pond.

As seen above, Japan did not hesitate to break into the palace of a country to kill its Empress cold-bloodedly and stained its history with blood of massacres and wars.

The murder of Empress Myongsong was a crime committed under the manipulation of the Japanese government.

When reporting to Ito Hirobumi about the result of assassination, Miura said that it would be advisable for Ito not to lose the gains, even if the method was so clumsy that it was unable to hide its dirtiness as it was aimed at maintaining their forces and achieving their original objectives.

Miura, the culprit of the assassination, was acquitted after being temporarily jailed in a prison in Hiroshima. When he arrived in Tokyo, the Japanese Emperor sent a confidant to Miura to appraise his “merit” and cheer him. The fact proves that the Ulmi Incident was a state-sponsored terrorism wire-pulled by the Japanese government.

The murder unprecedented in history is an A-class crime and state-sponsored terrorism that trampled on the sovereignty of the feudal Joson dynasty and a brigandish act that laid bare the brutality, cruelty and shamelessness of the Japanese militarists to the whole world.

This notwithstanding, Japan is now playing cheap tricks to embellish its crime, far from making an apology for it.

Such behaviours of Japan will only hasten its ruin.

Even though time passes and one generation is replaced by another, the hatred of the Korean people for Japan grow stronger.

Japan must clearly liquidate its past crimes committed against the Korean nation.

Yu Song

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