was an ancient Korean empire whose brilliant history flourished
on a vast expanse of land in East Asia.
Koguryo thrived for 705 years from 37 B.C., when it
was founded to A.D. 668, when it collapsed, and its
historical achievements was the source of enormous pride
to its descendants. Like most nations from that time,
Koguryo started out from a modest beginning at the Zolbon
area in the Yalu River valley.
The founder of Koguryo was King Chumo, or Gojumong,
who originally came from the State of Buyeo. When he
left Buyeo and founded Koguryo, Gojumong was so hard
pressed to afford a decent palace or secure sufficient
grain output. Furthermore, the fledgling state was surrounded
by stronger nations like Biryu, Seonbi, and Buyeo. So,
unless one was strong enough, a weak nation was destined
to subjugation to others as a feudal state. Soon, however,
Koguryo developed strong leadership and military power,
and began to pursue a policy of expansion by conquering
smaller nations one by one. Conquering small neighboring
nations like Biryu, Okjeo, Haeng-in and Yangmaek, Koguryo
grew up to be a strong country that even overpowered
Buyeo by the early first century A.D.
By the middle of the first century A.D., during King
Taejo's reign, Koguryo was able to absorb various foreign
cultural elements on top of the cultural foundations
of preceding kingdoms of Old Joseon (Korea) and Buyeo
and established itself as a stable state with a systematic
ruling structure. King Taejo successfully advanced into
Liaodong and the plains of the northern Korean peninsula
by attacking Later Han's eastern Commanderies of Lolang,
Xiantu and Liaodong, driving them out toward the west.
In 246, however, Koguryo had to suffer a humiliating
defeat and its capital temporarily fell into enemy hands
when forces from China's Wei attacked it from the west.
It soon regained its national strength and was able
to repulse repeated subsequent attacks from Wei. Koguryo
continued to grow up and held sway over Buyeo and Suksin
in the north, and by the early fourth century,
during king Micheon's reign, it successfully destroyed Chinese
Commanderies of Lolang and Taifang altogether. Its early
history was not smooth, however. In 342, Koguryo's capital
once again fell into enemy hands during the invasion of
the Moyong Seonbi tribe. It also sustained another severe
blow in 371, when Baekje attacked it from the south. King
Gogukwon died during this attack.
[Source : Korea.Net]