Military history of Korea

Military history of Korea
Military of South Korea
Air Force

Marine Corps
Reserve Forces

Military ranks (comparative)

Korea's military history spans back thousands of years, beginning with the early struggles of the ancient Kingdom of Gojoseon. Its long history consists of the many successful repulsions of major invasions and defensive against foreign invasions. Sterling examples of Korean military prowess are the major campaigns during the time of Gojoseon, Three Kingdoms (namely Goguryeo, Baekje, Silla), as well as those of the subsequent Kingdoms of Unified Silla, Balhae, Goryeo, Joseon, and more recently, military developments in both North and South Korea. Throughout her history, Korea has boasted many exceptional generals and military commanders who undertook victorious military campaigns against numerically superior enemies. Chief among them are Gwanggaeto the Great and Eulji Mundeok and Yeon Gaesomun of Goguryeo, Kim Yu-Shin of Silla, Dae JoYoung of Balhae, Jang Bo Go of Unified Silla, Gang Gam-chan and Yoon Gwan during the Goryeo period, and Yi Sun-Sin during the late Joseon dynasty.

Today, both North and South Korea field some of the largest and most lethal armies in the world. On one hand, North Korea is widely suspected of having nuclear weapons, as well as other weapons of mass destruction. South Korea, for its part, is equipped with a sophisticated conventional military with state-of-the-art weapons. In addition, South Korean troops actively participated in the Vietnam War and are currently serving in various UN peacekeeping missions around the world. The South Korean military enjoys military alliances with other countries, particularly the United States.


Military history


History of Korea
Bulguksa temple, Gyeongju
This article is part of a series
Jeulmun period
Mumun period
Gojoseon ?–108 BCE
Wiman Joseon 194 BCE–108 BCE
Proto–Three Kingdoms 300–57 BCE
Buyeo, Goguryeo, Okjeo, Dongye
Jin state, Samhan (Ma, Byeon, Jin)
Four Commanderies of Han
Three Kingdoms 57 BCE–668
Goguryeo 37 BCE–668
Baekje 18 BCE–660
Silla 57 BCE–935
Gaya 42–562
North and South States 698–926
Unified Silla 668–935
Balhae 698–926
Later Three Kingdoms 892–936
Taebong, Hubaekje, Silla
Goryeo Dynasty 918–1392
Joseon Dynasty 1392–1897
Korean Empire 1897–1910
Colonial Korea 1910–1945
Provisional Gov't 1919–1948
Division of Korea 1945–present
North, South Korea 1948–present
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Science and technology history
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Military history
Naval history

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Proto–Three Kingdoms of Korea





  • Campaign with Silla against Baekje

Three Kingdoms Period

Goguryeo campaigns

Campaigns of Gwanggaeto the Great of Goguryeo

    • Xianbei Campaign
    • Malgal Conquest
    • Khitan Conquest
    • Buyeo Conquest

Goguryeo, Baekje-Silla alliance War

Other conflicts

  • 498 : The Baekje Conquest of Tamla
  • 512 : The Silla Conquest of Usan

Goguryeo-Sui Wars (598-614)

  • 1st of Goguryeo-Sui Wars-598
  • 2nd Goguryeo-Sui War-612
  • 3rd Goguryeo-Sui War-613
  • 4th Goguryeo-Sui War-614

Goguryeo-Tang Wars (645-668)

  • 1st Goguryeo-Tang Wars-645
  • 2nd Baekje-Silla War -642

Goguryeo, Silla-Tang alliance Wars

  • 3rd Baekje-Silla War-660 (Collapse of Baekje)
  • 2nd Goguryeo-Tang War-661
    • 2nd Silla-Tang Invasion of Goguryeo-661 and 662
  • 3rd Silla-Tang Invasion of Goguryeo-667
  • 4th Silla-Tang Invasion (Collapse of Goguryeo)-668

Silla-Tang War (668-676)

  • Other rebellions from Baekje and Goguryeo people
  • Battle of Maeso fortress

North South States Period

Early period (700 - 820)

  • Battle of Cheonmun-ryeong - War of Foundation-698
  • Tang campaign-732
  • Balhae-Silla Conflict
  • extension of Balhae's sphere of influence over the Malgal tribes

Unified Silla (820 - 935)

Goryeo Dynasty

Goryeo wars

Internal strife

  • Yi Ja-gyeom Rebellion
  • Myo Cheong Rebellion
  • Military Coup of 1170
  • Kim Bodang Rebellion
  • Jo Wichong Rebellion
  • Mangi and Mangsoi Rebellion
  • Kim Sami and Hyosim Rebellion
  • Slave Rebellions of Goryeo

Joseon Dynasty


  • 1419 : 2nd Tsushima Conquest (Oei invasion)
  • 1519 : Sampo Waeran (small-scale Koreo-Japanese War)
  • 1592-1598 : Seven Year War (Imjin)
  • Northern Expansion against Jurchens (see also Korean-Jurchen wars)
  • 1627 : Jeongmyo Horan (1st Manchu Invasion)
  • 1636 : Byeongja Horan (2nd Manchu Invasion)
  • 1654-1658 : Russian Campaign which is part of Russian-Manchu war
  • Byeongin Yangyo
  • General Sherman Incident
  • Sinmi Yangyo
  • Righteous army Actions

Nationwide Internal strifes

1910-1945 :Colonial Korea

  • Campaigns of Independence Forces
    • Battle of Cheongsanri
    • Battle at Luozigou
    • Battle at Dadianzi
    • Battle of Bongohdong
    • Battle of Samdunja
  • Righteous army
  • Actions of Korean Liberation Army

After 1945

See also

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