Gojoseon was the first country to be formed in Korea. Its patriarch was Dangun Wanggom, who established the kingdom in 2333 B.C. Gojoseon first developed with the Liaoning district as its center and gradually rose as a center of the East.
Silla was located in the southeastern part of the Korean peninsula. In its early days, Silla was the weakest of three kingdoms in existence, but later became powerful enough to unify them under its rule in 676. After unification, Silla traded vigorously with foreign countries. General Jangbogo established Cheonghaejin on Wando Island and swept the pirates from the seas and led the overseas trade of East Asia Sea.
Goguryeo covered large parts of present-day Manchuria. The country was not only the most powerful and most aggressive kingdom of three kingdoms in existence (Baekje and Silla being the other two) but also the most powerful in Northeast Asia in the 5th century. King Gwanggaeto the Great (375-413), in particular, conquered the largest territory in the entire history of Korea.
Baekje was located in the southwestern part of the Korean peninsula and was one of the most advanced nations at that time. Baekje had the closest communication with neighboring Japan and exerted great influence on various fields of Japanese culture, sending many craftsmen, artisans, tailors, tile makers, and scholars to that country For more information, click here
Gaya was a federation of several small states centered on the Nakdong River delta in the middle of the south coast. Bridging China, Korea and Japan, it played a leading role as an intermediary of trade and culture. Iron exported from Gaya achieved international acclaim in China and Japan.
After the fall of Goguryeo, a man from Goguryeo, Dae Joyeong, formed an army of the Goguryeo and Malgal (a Tungusic tribe) people, and settled eventually near Jilin in Manchuria, and there founded Balhae. Balhae declared itself the successor to Goguryeo and soon regained control of most of the former Goguryeo territory. The ruling class of Balhae consisted mostly of Goguryeo people. For more information, click here
It was Wang Geon who unified the Korean peninsula for the second time and founded the Goryeo Dynasty, named after Goguryeo. Jikji, the oldest metal printed book in the world, and the Goryeo celadon, the greatest cultural achievement of Goryeo, were produced during the Goryeo Dynasty. For more information, click here
Joseon derives its name from the first kingdom of Korea. Joseon adopted Confucianism as its guiding principle, and this philosophy exerted much influence during the Joseon Dynasty. King Sejong the Great (1394-1450), the country's finest king, is most respected person in Korean history. He invented Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, in 1446. He also invented a rain gauge, striking water clocks, and a sundial. For more information, click here
In the early 20th century, Korea was occupied by Japan. The country was exploited for the benefit of the Japanese Empire. The occupiers attempted to eradicate Korean culture and even forbade Koreans from speaking their own language. But the Koreans resisted continuously, both at home and abroad, until the surrender of Japan, which ended World War II. For more information, click here
After the painful japanese occupation period, the Korean War (1950-53) broke out, and the Korean Peninsula was divided into South and North Korea. Korea has undergone vast social, economic, and political changes. But the country has grown into a vibrant part of the international community and proven itself a good host through the 1988 Seoul Olympics and 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan.
Now, Korea is one of the most connected countries in the
world, carried by the rapid growth of its online and
telecommunication sectors. With a reputation as one of the
fastest growing economies, it is also setting international
standards in related industries.
Korea is preparing to
become the Hub of Asia; the Gateway to Northeast
and the Korean people are trying to build
physical and cyber links, to share
friendships and dreams with people from all around the world. For more information, click here