Kingdom of Goryeo

Balhae falls to Khitan forces
926 Jan 1

Balhae falls to Khitan forces

Dunhua, Jilin, China

Following the destruction of Balhae by the Khitan Liao dynasty in 927, the last crown prince of Balhae and much of the ruling class sought refuge in Goryeo, where they were warmly welcomed and given land by Taejo. In addition, Taejo included the Balhae crown prince in the Goryeo royal family, unifying the two successor states of Goguryeo and, according to Korean historians, achieving a "true national unification" of Korea. According to the Goryeosa jeolyo, the Balhae refugees who accompanied the crown prince numbered in the tens of thousands of households. An additional 3,000 Balhae households came to Goryeo in 938. The Balhae refugees contributed 10 percent of the population of Goryeo. As descendants of Goguryeo, the Balhae people and the Goryeo dynasts were related. Taejo felt a strong familial kinship with Balhae, calling it his "relative country" and "married country", and protected the Balhae refugees. Taejo displayed strong animosity toward the Khitans who had destroyed Balhae. The Liao dynasty sent 30 envoys with 50 camels as a gift in 942, but Taejo exiled the envoys to an island and starved the camels under a bridge, in what is known as the "Manbu Bridge Incident".

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