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Beginning of Korean History
Korea is an ancient country with a history of more than five thousand years. It is therefore hard to pinpoint the origin of the Korean people. The early inhabitants on the Korean Peninsula, according to a theory, were a Tungusic branch of the Ural Altaic family who migrated from the northwestern regions of Asia to the southern Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula some five thousand years ago.
Legend has it that Tangun, the first great ruler of Chosun, organized various primitive tribes in the northern region of the country into a single kingdom about 24 centuries before the birth of Christ. The Tangun era lasted about 1,200 years, followed by the Kija dynasty which lasted about 99 years. The Kija dynasty, established by a Chinese scholar by that name, was essentially a city state. Meanwhile, in the southern region of the Korean Peninsula three tribe states of Mahan, Chinhan and Pyonhan were established at about the same time.
They unleashed what historians call the-Three Hans period there. The rule of the Kija dynasty came to an end in 194 B.C., when power was seized by Weiman who also came to Pyongyang from China. In 109 B.C. the Chinese Han dynasty extended its power over the northern Korea and remained there for the next four hundred years, establishing four colonies of Lolang (Nakrang), Chenfan (Chinbon), Hsuantu (Hyondo) and Lintun (Imdun). The Lolang tombs, dating from 108 B.C. to 200 A.D., have revealed some examples of exquisite lacquer work, bronze mirrors and jewelry.