Let us take Korea as an example. For thousands of years Korea was a tributary State of China. It was the United States that first seduced Korea into separating herself from China
and sent a diplomatic representative to negotiate a treaty with that country. [Treaty of May 22, 1882, negotiated by Commodore Shufeldt and the first treaty between Korea and a Western Power, the British and German treaties being of a date eighteen months later. –Editor] Yet, when Britain and Japan entered into an alliance, and Korea was about to be annexed by Japan, the United States was the first to recall her minister from Korea, instead of responding to the Korean appeal for assistance. Resentful as the Korean intellectuals are towards Japan on account of the annexation of their country, they are even more so towards the United States for persuading it into a declaration of independence and then leaving it in the lurch. It is the old parable of a man that helped another with a ladder to ascend to the top of a hundred-foot tower and then snatched it away from under his feet. It is the United States that made Korea ascend the ladder and then snatched it away from under her feet.
However, the United States cannot be blamed for such action. As long as Korea existed as an independent State, Japan had no room for expansion. So far as the United States is concerned, the annexation of Korea cost her nothing more serious than an indirect, slight loss of trade. It should have been expected that a transient feeling of sympathy could not avail against the Japanese determination to annex Korea, which for Japan at that time was a matter of life or death. Korea perished because it had relied upon somebody who could not be relied upon; the United States is not responsible for the fact of others putting faith in her and her promises. At present China is likely to suffer the same fate as Korea has suffered, and the United States will be reproached again for not offering any assistance. When this happens, it will be too late to consider the suggestions to reprieve the blunder committed in the first instance. Furthermore, should the United States really want to come to our assistance she will do so regardless of our entry into the war.