First conflict in the Goryeo–Khitan War

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First Goryeo–Khitan War
Part of Goryeo-Khitan Wars
DateNovember 993 - December 993
LocationNorthern Korean Peninsula

Diplomatic resolution

  • Liao withdraws after achieving strategic goal without resorting to combat
  • Goryeo became a Liao tributary[1][2] and adopted their calendar in 994[3][4][5][6]
  • Liao gave Goryeo permission to incorporate the land between the border of Liao and Goryeo.
Goryeo Liao Dynasty
Commanders and leaders
Seo Hui
Dae Do-su
Xiao Xunning
Unknown Liao claimed 800,000[2][7] but the number is believed to be much lower.
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The First Goryeo-Khitan War was a 10th-century conflict between the kingdom of Goryeo and the Liao dynasty (the Khitan Empire) near what is now the border between China and North Korea. It occurred in 993 and was the first of the Goryeo-Khitan Wars, which were continued with the Second Goryeo-Khitan War (1010) and Third Goryeo-Khitan War (1018).

In 993, the Khitan invaded Goryeo's northwest border with an army that the Liao commander claimed to number 800,000.[2][7] They forced Goryeo to end its tributary relations with the Song dynasty, to become a Liao tributary state and to adopt Liao's calendar.[1][2][3][4][5][6] With Goryeo's agreement of these requirements, the Khitan withdrew. Liao gave Goryeo permission to incorporate the land between the border of Liao and that of Goryeo, which was occupied by Jurchen tribes that were troublesome to Liao, up to the Yalu River.[8][9] In spite of the settlement, Goryeo continued to communicate with Song,[10] having strengthened its defenses by building fortresses in the newly gained northern territories.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hyun 2013, p. 106: "the Khitan army attacked Goryeo, who was forced to accept the status of a Liao tributary in 994."
  2. ^ a b c d e Twitchett & Tietze 1994, p.103.
  3. ^ a b Yun 1998, pp.63-65.
  4. ^ a b Hatada, Smith Jr & Hazard 1969, p. 52: "In the thirteenth year of the reign of King Sŏngjong (994), Koryŏ submitted to the Khitan and adopted their calendar".
  5. ^ a b Ebrey & Walthall 2014, [1], p. 171, at Google Books: Liao forces invaded Goryeo territory in 993. Instead of pushing for total victory, the Khitans negotiated a peace that forced Goryeo to adopt the Liao calendar and end tributary relations with Song (a violation of King Taejo’s testamentary injunction never to make peace with the Khitan)."
  6. ^ a b Simons 1995, p. 95: "In 994, during the reign of King Songjong, Koryo was forced to acknowledged the dominance of Khitan".
  7. ^ a b Nahm 1988, p. 89.
  8. ^ Yun 1998, p.64: "By the end of the negotiation, Sô Hûi had ... ostensibly for the purpose of securing safe diplomatic passage, obtained an explicit Khitan consent to incorporate the land between the Ch’ôngch’ôn and Amnok Rivers into Koryô territory."
  9. ^ Twitchett & Tietze 1994, p.102: "Until the 980s Khitan-Koryǒ relations had been at arm’s length, for the Jurchen tribes and Ting-an had provided a buffer zone between Koryǒ's northern frontier and the Liao border". p.103: "Koryǒ was left free to deal with the Jurchen tribes south of the Yalu Valley".
  10. ^ Hyun 2013, p.106: "Even though the Goryeo court agreed to set up tribute exchanges with the Liao court, that same year [=994] it also sent an envoy to the Song court to appeal, but in vain, for military assistance against the Khitan."


  • Ebrey, Patricia Buckley; Walthall, Anne (2014), Pre-Modern East Asia: To 1800: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, Third Edition, Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, ISBN 978-1-133-60651-2.
  • Hatada, Takashi; Smith Jr, Warren W.; Hazard, Benjamin H. (1969), A History of Korea, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, ISBN 0-87436-064-1.
  • Hyun, Jeongwon (2013), Gift Exchange among States in East Asia during the Eleventh Century (Thesis (Ph.D.)), University of Washington.
  • Nahm, Andrew C. (1988), Korea: Tradition & Transformation: A History of the Korean People, Elizabeth, NJ: Hollym, ISBN 0-930878-56-6.
  • Simons, Geoff (1995), Korea: The Search for Sovereignty, New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0-312-12531-3.
  • Twitchett, Denis; Tietze, Klaus-Peter (1994), "The Liao", in Franke, Herbert; Twitchettr Denis (eds.), The Cambridge History of China, Volume 6, Alien Regime and Border States, 907-1368, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 43&ndash, 153, ISBN 0-521-24331-9.
  • Yun, Peter I. (1998), Rethinking the Tribute System: Korean States and northeast Asian Interstate Relations, 600-1600 (Thesis (Ph.D.)), University of California, Los Angeles.