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Story of Korea told century ago

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By Kim Ji-myung

The July 25, 1897, issue of the New York Journal carried a sizable story headlined "Prince of Corea Comes to America Wearing a Coat of Mail for Fear of Assassins." It features large drawings of a Korean prince and the imaginative protective steel wire undershirt, two Korean royal women (both dead), and two suspected assassins from Korea.

The prince, Uihwa, was a secondary prince born to a consort of the Korean King Gojong. The article argues that Prince Uihwa was marked for death, because the Crown Prince (later King Sunjong) feared him. The two women are Queen Min (known as Empress Myeongseong), the mother of the Crown Prince, and Lady Jang, a royal consort and the mother of Prince Uihwa.

That is why, according to the article, two men follow the prince with the mission to murder him when they had the chance, and why the U.S Secret Service and the detective force of every city in which Prince Uihwa visited were instructed to look out for his safety.

While quite favorable in describing the prince, such as "a gentle,........

© The Korea Times