The Korean Empire (1897-1910) unlike its grandiose name, was a puppet state established under Japanese influence. Building a Japanese embassy, that definitely looked like it costed a pretty penny or two, was one of the empire’s very first priority. King Gojong (1st picture) and many other in the royal court also played a major role in signing a treaty (Ul-sa-jo-yak, 을사조약, 1905) that involved unfair taxes & trade rules against Korea. And as always, it was the common folk that paid the ultimate price while the royals and Government officials continued to get greased up. Chief Commander Min Young Hwan (2nd picture), Queen Myungsung’s nephew, was sent on many diplomatic missions to seek allies to help fight for Korean liberation to no avail. He continued to support the independence movement after his aunt, the Queen, had been assassinated in 1895.