III. The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 > E. East Asia, to 1527 > 4. Korea, 918–1392
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
4. Korea, 918–1392
a. Major Events
The KORY STATE was founded by Wang Kn (b. 877, r. 918–43), who through military and civil capacities had become king of Later Kogury (Later Three Kingdoms era). He renamed it Kory.  1
Kory began the process of reunification of the Later Three Kingdoms by defeating Later Paekche. Silla surrendered in 935. Wang Kn became King T'aejo. He treated the former Silla aristocrats well, and many of them became Kory bureaucrats, even as he set out to dismantle the bone-rank system. He established good relations with the castle lords in the local areas.  2
King T'aejo responded to peaceful overtures from the Khitans by snubbing them, as he considered them barbarians.  3
During the reign of King Kwangjong, order was revived in the face of the rebellions following T'aejo's death. Kwangjong began a military push toward the Yalu River, in the Khitans' direction.  4
Kwangjong implemented a civil service examination to bring Confucian-minded men into civil office and to build a new bureaucratic apparatus.  5
During Sngjong's reign, efforts continued to create a new aristocratic order with aristocrats drawn from many different great families, not just high-born royal clans. They came to control the politics and government under Kory, with its capital at Kaesng. Measures were adopted to guarantee that social status would be hereditary, though there were many cases of social mobility in civil and military realms.  6
Kory governmental administration took shape, with three principal agencies and six boards modeled after those of Tang China.  7
A National University was established in the capital under Sngjong, who was particularly attentive to spreading education among the larger populace.  8
The Khitans crossed the Yalu and invaded Kory (993), but were talked into withdrawing by an adept Kory diplomat. A second invasion early in the 11th century led to the occupation of Kaesng, but the Khitans again withdrew when their supply lines grew dangerously stretched. The third and final Khitan attack (1018) was vigorously repulsed at the great loss of Khitan life.  9
Printing of the Kory Tripitaka, an edition of the Buddhist canon printed from wood blocks, was completed. It was begun early in the century in supplication to forestall the Khitan attacks.  10
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.