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Teddy Roosevelt and the Taft-Katsura Agreement

Utter the words “Taft-Katsura” to an average American and the response will undoubtedly be a blank stare. But I learned from my years of teaching in Korea that the words “Taft-Katsura” will almost invariably invoke a long discourse from Korean professors and students on America’s betrayal of Korea in exchange for Japanese recognition of U.S. interests in the Philippines. “Taft-Katsura” is engraved in many minds as a key element in the victimization of Korea at the beginning of the twentieth century. ~ Dennis P. Halpin

On August 14, 2013, an article from the Korea Times quoted Dr. Kim Hak-joon, president of the Northeast Asian History Foundation (NAHF), who suggested former President Theodore Roosevelt be stripped of his 1906 Nobel Peace Prize.

Dennis P. Halpin, former House Foreign Relations Committee staff member and current Visiting Scholar at the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, examines the history of the Taft-Katsura Agreement in defense of Roosevelt’s legacy.

Download USKI Policy Brief “Teddy Roosevelt and the Taft-Katsura Agreement,” by Dennis P. Halpin.

Dennis P. Halpin is currently a visiting scholar at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea, U.S. consul in Pusan, and a House Foreign Affairs Committee staff member for over twelve years.