In 1231 Mongol forces invaded from China and eventually the Koryo kings accepted Mongol rule.In 1392, Yi Songgye, with the aid of the Ming dynasty (which had replaced the Mongols in China), seized power.
Chinese and Japanese influences have been strong throughout Korean history but the Koreans descended as a distinct racial and cultural group from Tungusic (Siberian ethnic groups) tribal peoples from central Asia and Manchuria.
It is important to understand Korea’s strategic geographic position.
There is evidence of occupation through hunter-gatherer and burial sites from this period, such as at Tongsamdong (in southeastern Korea near present day Pusan), along with pottery, stone agricultural tools, and cereal cultivation of millet. D., Korea has been developing as a distinct people for 5,000-6,000 years. Distinct Korean style tools first began appearing in “Wae” (Japan), when Korean weapons (Dagger culture) emerged. Chariot fittings have been found near Pyongyang and the Taedong River basin (that flows from northeast to southeast through Pyongyang). After the schism in the Buddhist religion in northeast India in the first century A. the Chinese colony of Lolang was established near Pyongyang. Iron was exported from the lower Naktong River in southeastern Korea to Wae (Japan) and Lolang. Cultural elements from China, northern nomadic tribes, Lolang, and the Buddhist religion were incorporated during this period of Koguryo dominance.
The spread of rice farming reached northern areas of the Peninsula by 1500 B. Iron Age culture became widespread in southern Korea by the second century B. Confucianism, a learning and social philosophy rooted in a series of particular relationships among and between family, friends, and rulers, became prominent from the third century B. D., the Mahayana Buddhism that offered universal salvation (versus the more conservative Theravada Buddhism) arrived in China and Korea where it began to be shared with Confucianism and Daoism. C., Korea (except in the southeast area around present day Pusan) came under the domination of the Chinese Han empire. The Kingdom of Koguryo established the first native Korean state near the Yalu River (separating present day China from northern Korea) in the north in 37 B. by the Maek Tribe, even while still in the Han empire. Iron technology in this period became stronger and sharper as it was incorporated into weapons and agricultural tools.
The majority of historians document Korea’s history to the 12th century B. when a Chinese scholar (Kija) founded a colony at Pyongyang. C., the Korean tribal kingdom of Ancient Choson had emerged in the area between the Taedong River in present day western North Korea and the Liao River in Manchuria 250 miles to the northwest. Korean literary tradition adopted the Chinese language and its ideograph (written system representing an idea or object directly rather than a particular word) system.
Ancient Choson (“land of the morning calm”) possessed relatively advanced iron technology for tools and weapons. With Chinese support the Silla dynasty conquered Koguryo and Paekche in 668 A.Later, Korea attempted to protect itself from outside threats by closing its borders and thereby became known as the Hermit Kingdom. The Yi dynasty lasted 519 years from 1392 until its formal annexation by Japan on August 22, 1910. Then in August 2000, as a representative of the newly formed Korea Truth Commission (KTC), our delegation visited the Kumjung Cave massacre site in Ilsan, Kyonggi Province north of Seoul, and the massacre at twin bridges viaduct near infamous Nogun Ri, 100 miles south of Seoul near Yongdong in North Chungchong Province.Japan was becoming ever more powerful, and with secret U. In May 2000, while visiting several villages in South Korea about 80 miles southeast of the Yongdong/Nogun Ri area, I listened to dozens of horror stories of emotionally and physically wounded survivors of civilian massacres committed in 1950 by U. ground and air forces, as well as by South Korean forces under U. I heard even more of similar horror stories about what happened during the summer of 1950.Though this introductory section ostensibly has little to do with the contemporary situation in Korea, in fact it is very important for understanding the rich history and unity of the Korean culture.For as we are beginning to realize more and more, the presence of the past is always here. We can only ignore this principle at our own peril, which in turn robs us of the incredibly profound input of a vast sea of indispensable wisdom.The Republic of the United States of America, and its Europeon antecedent communities, only go back 400 years.