Protectorate General to Pacify the East

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Protectorate General to Pacify the East
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 安東都護府
Korean name
Hangul 안동 도호부
Hanja 安東都護府

The Protectorate-General to Pacify the East was a short-lived military government established at Pyongyang by Tang Dynasty China in 668. It played an important role in the turbulent events of the peninsula in the late 7th century.

The protectorate was established shortly after the kingdom of Goguryeo was overthrown by Tang and Silla forces. It was governed by the Tang general Xue Rengui. Tang established it to govern not only the commanderies established on Goguryeo and Baekje territory, but also to govern Silla itself.

Silla retaliated against the Protectorate's domination by aiding Geom Mojam's rebellion in the north, and attacking Protectorate forces in Baekje territory. In 671 Silla seized Sabi Castle from the Tang armies. They overthrew the puppet government of Buyeo Yung which had been established there. Angered, Tang declared a younger brother of King Munmu to be Silla's rightful ruler, but was unable to follow this symbolic blow with a military one.

As the result of the Silla–Tang Wars, Silla forces expelled the Protectorate armies from the Korean Peninsula in 676. The Protectorate's capital was officially transferred to the former Goguryeon city of Shinseong, where it continued to oversee the affairs of Goguryeo refugees and portions of the former Goguryeo territory.

The deposed king of Goguryeo, King Bojang was redesignated "King of Joseon" (Hangul : 요동주도독 조선왕 Hanja: 遼東州都督朝鮮王) and made governor of the Protectorate. His persistent activities in aiding rebellions led to his eventual banishment, but Bojang's descendants continued to govern the Protectorate for several generations. The Protectorate of this period is sometimes referred to as "Little Goguryeo" or "Lesser Goguryeo".

Local unrest and the rising power of Balhae forced the Protectorate to change capitals several times. The Protectorate was finally extinguished in 756.


Administratively, it was intended to oversee nine commanderies, 42 prefectures (later reorganized into 14) and 100 counties.

Nine commanderies[edit]

14 prefectures(州)[edit]



  • Lee, K.-b. (1984). A new history of Korea. Tr. by E.W. Wagner & E.J. Schulz, based on the Korean rev. ed. of 1979. Seoul: Ilchogak. ISBN 89-337-0204-0

See also[edit]