The year 2009 on the Christian calendar is the
year 4,342 on the Korean calendar, 4,705 on the Chinese calendar, and on the
descended from Tungusic tribal peoples, are a distinct racial and cultural
group. According to Korean legend, Tangun established Old Choson in NW Korea in
2333 B.C., and the Korean calendar enumerates the
years from this date. Chinese sources assert that Ki-tze (Kija), a
Shang dynasty refugee, founded a colony at Pyongyang in 1122
B.C., but the first Korean ruler recorded in
contemporaneous records is Wiman, possibly a Chinese invader who overthrew Old
Choson and established his rule in N Korea in 194 B.C.
Chinese forces subsequently conquered (c.100 B.C.)
the eastern half of the peninsula. Lolang, near modern Pyongyang, was the chief
center of Chinese rule.
Koguryo, a native Korean kingdom, arose in the north on both
sides of the Yalu River by the 1st cent. A.D.;
tradition says it was founded in 37 B.C. By the 4th
cent. A.D. it had conquered Lolang, and at its height
under King Kwanggaet'o (r.391–413) occupied much of what is now Korea and NE
China. In the 6th and 7th cent. the kingdom resisted several Chinese invasions.
Meanwhile in the south, two main kingdoms emerged, Paekche (traditionally
founded 18 B.C., but significant beginning c.A.D.
250) in the west and Silla (traditionally founded 57 B.C.,
but significant beginning c.A.D. 350) in the east.
After forming an alliance with T'ang China, Silla conquered Paekche and Koguryo
by 668, and then expelled the Chinese and unified much of the peninsula.
Remnants of Koguryo formed the kingdom of Parhae (north of the Taedong River and
largely in E Manchuria), which lasted until 926.