CE 1232 . The Return of the Goryeons

Description: 72 Daruyacis Killed; Mongol’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th invasion of Korea; Tripitaka Koreana (합천 해인사 대장경판,陜川 海印寺 大藏經板; 팔만대장경, 八萬大藏經; Hong Bog-weon 홍복원(洪福源, 1206년 ~ 1258년); Song China’s Capital Hangzhou (杭州市).

Welcome to The History of Korea. I’m your host, Allen Lee. In this episode, the Koreans fight back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_gz7eihKz0 sick pansori with multiple ladies 1975 TV

I named this episode the Return of the Goryeons to fit the theme of the star wars franchise. But that’s where the similarities end. The Return of the Jedi is a triumph of the Jedis against the enormous Sith Empire; unfortunately, The return of the Goryeons consists of the assassinations of 72 mongol officials, which then promptly ignites yet another offensive by the mighty mongol empire that ultimately ends in defeat for the Goryeons. In other words if you’re on the side of the Goryeons, there is no happy ending.

In the last episode we covered the lightning fast and brutal attack of Korea by the Mongol army. We covered a lot of detail but in terms of time we covered just a year, from the first incursion in August 1231 to around Spring 1232, because that’s how long it took for the Mongols to submit the kingdom.

We left off with the brutal evacuation of the capital, Kaesong, to Ganghwa Island (강화도). The capital now moved, Goryeo makes a very critical decision.

DARUYACI

The decision concerns 72 daruyaci, or resident commissioners, of the Mongols. This was standard Mongol practice after they had conquered a land; they would install these daruyaci to oversee the territory.

The Koreans would make the fateful decision of assassinating all of them. This was their “revenge”. But this was like poking the eye of a tiger, and would in fact cause the 2nd major offensive of this war.

The Yuan Kao-li chi-shih remarks that: “in 1231 we conquered them and King Kojong again submitted, Seventy two daruyaci or resident commissioners were placed in the hyon of the capital prefecture to supervise them and the army was withdrawn. The following year they killed all the officials of the offices which the Court had established and rebelled seeking refuge on islands on the sea.”

There’s been some debate over these events but the historical accounts suggest the following: Once the main Mongol forces withdrew, the Koreans made an attempt to purge the Mongols from the peninsula by (a) killing all the commissioners; (b) evacuating the population to remote mountain locations and islands.

Further, the records show that the 72 commissioners were stationed from the western capital, or seogyeong, to the yalu river. So the northwest of Korea.

My question is, were the Koreans so convincing in their submission to the Mongols, that the Mongols allowed their 72 commissioners to be killed at once? The Mongols are known to have the most sophisticated intelligence network during that time. How did they not foresee that all of their commissioners would be killed?

Or perhaps this is the administerial deficiency of the Mongol Empire that we are witnessing? After all, the criticism of the Mongol Empire is that they were good at conquering, but horrible at administering.

From the Korean’s side, think of how sophisticated their action to kill these commissioners must have been. Without modern communication means, they had to secretly coordinate the almost simultaneous assassinations of all 72 of the officials. It must have been a huge undertaking.

And how bad must it have gotten that the Koreans would dare such a thing? Remember, most of the country is in a very bad place after 60 years of military rule and the Mongol attacks. The demands of the Mongols must have been truly horrendous for the country to fight back in their weakened state.

ohaeng: study of five elements.

2ND OFFENSIVE

So, here comes the 2nd Mongol Campaign in Korea. Sartaq’s second attack comes in the eight month of 1232. What we can understand from this attack is that the southern part of the peninsula was still not under Mongol control. Sartaq and his army swept into the Han valley easily until he was unexpectedly killed by a chance arrow from a Buddhist monk, Kim Yunhu (김윤후(金允侯, ? ~ ?)). The Mongol army withdrew after Sartaq’s death, leaving the Korean traitor Hong Bogwon (홍복원(洪福源, 1206년 ~ 1258년)) to manage things in the western capital until their return.

All throughout this fighting, there was a steady stream of communication between the Mongol court and the Korean court, now ensconced on Kanghwa island. For example, the Mongols demanded an explanation of why Goryeo suddenly decided to turn coat and kill the Mongol commissioners as soon as they left the peninsula. Goryeo responded by saying they received a false alarm from a certain Song Ipchang that the Mongols were attacking the cities. They were afraid they wouldn’t be able to produce their annual tribute. The Mongols asked for Song to be turned over to him, but the Koreans said he had been lost at sea.

The Koreans had imprisoned Jo Sukchang (조숙창, 趙叔昌); the Mongols demanded his release to their custody. The Koreans explained that he had fallen ill and was bedridden.

It seems that the Mongols had quickly worn out the cooperation of the Koreans through their excessive demands of tributes; the Koreans responded in kind with a kind of passive resistance.

The Mongols demanded a census; the Koreans did not deliver. The Mongols demanded an army to put down Wannu (the Eastern Jurchen warlord); the Koreans refused. The Mongols demanded aid to put down Liao-tung; the Koreans provided some ships and seamen but nothing more.

The Mongols demanded hostages, especially royalty. This especially was resisted by the Koreans.

Say what yo will about Choe U, the military dictator at the time. He was scrappy, and he at times conceded then resisted the Mongols given the extremely limited resources at his disposal.

Meanwhile, the Koreans and the Eastern Jurchen were also speaking, conspiring against the Mongols. In early 1233, the Koreans tried sending an envoy to the Jin Court, but the roads were blocked and he returned, unsuccessful.

Finally, in the spring of 1233, a Mongol envoy arrived with a list of Goryeo’s crimes:

“Your memorial reporting the facts involved was drawn up entirely in false

statements and phrases of excuse. How difficult it is to know one from the From the other. If you were not false, you would come for an audience.

From the previous pacification of the Ch’ i -tan until the slaying of Cha-la have not sent a single soul to [Our] gates. You have never acted in compliance with the laws and statutes of our great nation. this is your first offense. and when those who were sent to offer the precepts and instructions of Immortal Heaven summoned you, then you dared to kill [them]. this is your second offense.”

This missive goes on to list another three offenses in the same, angry fashion. AT the end, the Mongols demand that Goryeo field an army against Wannu or suffer the consequences, calling upon Goryeo to obey the “precepts and instructions of Immortal Heaven.”

The Korean answer was to renew the fight to oust the traitor Hong Pogwon from the western capital. Hong’s response was to team with Pil Hyeonbo, kill the Goryeo comissioners in the city and lead the city in an uprising against the Goryeo.

Choe U sent 3,000 of his house troops to put down that revolt. Hong got away, but they did capture his father, Hong Daesun, his brother Hong Paeksu and his children. They captured Pil Hyonbo, took him to the capital and cut him in two at the waist in the market place.

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The rest of the citizens of the western capital were evacuated to islands, leaving the capital deserted.

In the spring of 1234, those who had taken the western capital from the Hong Bogweon were rewarded. Jo Sukchang was finally beheaded after a prolonged imprisonment.

Hong Bogweon fled northward to Liaotun where he and his people were settled between Liaoyang and Shenyang (this is in modern day china northwest of the peninsula). In 1234, the Mongols placed him in command of the army and people of Goryeo and ordered him to subjugate those who had not yet submitted.

The Mongols then brought an edict to the Korean people, telling them that anyone who captured the Goryeo king and the resistance to them would be placed on equal footing with Hong.

In an effort to win Hong over back to the Korean side, Choe U elevated his father to the rank of grand general and his younger brother to that of Colonel. They would remain hostages, however, for many more years.

[Gari Ledyard of Berkeley]

In the ninth month of 1233, Wannu’s upstart state, the Eastern Jurchen, was finally conquered by the Mongols and he was beheaded.  This now freed the Mongols to direct their full attention to Korea.

In the first month of 1234, Prince Guyuk and Prince Alcitai, with the help of the Song, seized the Jin capital at Fengching and completed their conquest of North China.

At the quriltai held by ogodei in 1235, the Mongols decided to attack Goryeo, the nations west of the Volga, and the borders of cashmir.  Can you imagine? A military so deep and so strong that they think nothing of opening up four fronts at the same time? The Germans in the 20th century were worried about two fronts. The Mongols were confident enough to attack not just four fronts, but four fronts representing incredible civilizations of Goryeo, China, Russia and the Indian subcontinent. This is truly the peak of Mongol dominance, and Korea is right in the thick of it.

3RD OFFENSIVE

So in July 1235, Mongols raid the eastern defense command. Inhabitants of the southern capital were ordered to evacuate to Kwanghwa.

The next month, Mongol forces led by Tanqutbatur and our old friend Hong Bogweon captured Yongang, Hamjong and Samdung, major cities in Seohae Provice. They push the Korean defenses all the way down to modern day Sangju (상주시(尙州市)), which is all the way down the peninsula in Gyeongsang Province.

In the spring of 1236, the Mongol forces, which had been camped in seventeen places in the north, began their move south. Hwangju, Sinju and Anju fell in april 1236, while Kaeju, Pyongtaek and Hayang-chang fell in the next month. By November, the Mongols had penetrated as far south as Jeonju, once the capital of Hubaekje.

Let’s step back for a second here. This is effectively the third major offensive for the Mongols. In 1218 they had marched their way into Northwest Korea with the pretext of following the Khitan rebels. They forced the Koreans into a tribute system and then abused that tribute system. The Koreans fought back, passively and actively, and they came back in 1231 and laid waste to the western seaboard of Korea as far south as the southeastern province.

As soon as the mongols left, the Koreans fought back again, retreating to more defensible islands and mountain forts and then killing all the mongol commissioners left behind.

So here are the Mongols again. Since the Mongols first encroached on Korean soil, the Koreans had begun preparations in secret. Namely, they bolstered their large fortresses. People in smaller towns and rural areas were evacuated to coastal islands and mountain citadels.

They also adapted their military strategy. Not once did Goryeo attempt to field an army against the Mongols head to head. Instead, they organized small patrols, called byeolcho, which conducted guerilla warfare, such as surprise night raids and ambushes.

They also upped their spirituality. Pretty much every religion was employed in favor of surviving the Mongols: shaman priests, astrologers and Buddhists alike.

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The single greatest of these was the herculean project of what is known as the Tripitaka Koreana. The tripitaka is basically the Buddhist canon; kind of like the Buddhist bible. Imagine carving every single word in the Buddhist scripture. Started in 1237, it would take 16 years for an army of monks to create 81,137 woodblocks.

It’s comprised of 52,330,152 characters which are organized in over 1,496 titles and 6,568 volumes.

It’s notable that it was the royal court that spearheaded this undertaking, and not the military government. The king himself participated in the Buddhist ceremonies, underlining his largely symbolic role.

And of course the purpose of this was spiritual, yes, but also symbolic. I don’t know how many people at the time actually believed that the carving of these woodblocks would actually cause some supernatural phenomenon to manifest itself.

I do believe, however, that this act must have been an incredibly important act that unified the country and made a statement that its citizens were a cultured, spiritual, righteous people, and that the invaders were godless infidels. Despite its enormous cost, which surely could have been useful to the military, there must have been enough support amongst the populace to continue to support it for 16 years, during the worst of the invasion.  These kinds of national acts are not unique to Goryeo or this time period; I think of the British during the bombings of world war II, carrying on in their pubs as an act of defiance and an assertion of their culture, even at risk of death. I guess that sounds a little trite, since I’m comparing buddhist scripture to drinking a pint. But, brits, you did it to yourselves.

The Mongol onslaught continued to cause defections; Jo Heyonseop and Yi Weonu would sumbit to the Mongols with 2,000 men. They would join Hong Bogweon in Liaotung. Isn’t that funny? We always talk about how many Koreans must have Chinese ancestry. But it’s also the reverse. Because you have all these Goryeons defecting to the Laidong Peninsula. So many Chinese have Korean ancestry.

Despite Goryeo’s valiant resistance, the Mongols are too much.

In 1238, the Koreans had to submit again. They desperately needed a rest. So they pleaded their “eternal submission” to the Mongols, once again, and the Yuan reply came in 1239.  Again, the Mongols, having received a submission, withdrew their forces from Korea.

Given that the Mongols were fighting four major wars at the time, I’m sure they were eager to accept the Korean’s surrender without inquiring too much into the Korean’s sincerity.

Again, the Mongols demanded that the King himself present himself at the Mongol court. But the Koreans delayed again. First they said that the King was mourning the Goryeo Queen Dowager’s death. Then they said he was ill. Then that he was mourning hismother. Then he was too old.

But eventually the Koreans had to cave. So they sent Jeon, the Duke of Sinan, who they passed off as the King’s younger brother.  This bought them a few more years.

Next, they took a royal relative, Sun, who was the Duke of Yeongnyeong, and proclaimed him to be the crown prince. Sun definitely was from the royal family; but his family had branched from the main stem a few generations before. Along with 10 officials and male relatives, he entered the Mongol court as a hostage.

But for the time being, it worked. This seventeen year old false prince, s well as the relatives of Hong Bogweon, were led to Ogodei at Qaraqorum. Ogodei was so pleased that he awarded the Mongol general that brought them with the office of supreme military commander over seven provinces.

It wouldn’t be until 14 years later that the Mongols would discover that he was not the crown prince.

I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised that Sun would end up serving the Mongols loyally. After all, he was given up as a sacrificial pawn by the court. He ended up marrying a mongol princess, and that would be the first link of marriage between the mongols and the Goryeo royal family.

Anyway, this sleight of hand would buy the Koreans a truce for the next six years, until 1247. The Mongols were now sending a steady stream of envoys to Kanghwa island;

In fact, buildings began to spring up at Seungcheon-bu 승천부, the launch point between the island and the mainland (btw, it’s in north korea).

they did in fact manage to get the king to cross the strait to the mainland a few times to meet with the mongol envoys; but choe U and his successors would live the rest of their lives on that island. Wow. Imagine that!

You can only stall the Mongols for so long. In the quriltai of 1246, in which Guyuk is elected khan, the mongols would decide to attack Korea again.

In autumn of 1247, the mongols, commanded by Marshal Amukan, and again, accompanied by Hong Pogwon arrive in Yeonan. In early 1248, the capital issues the order to evacuate all the people in the walled cities, who by this point presumably had come back to their homes to start farming and carry on their life as before, back to the coastal islands.

Imagine this for a second. You’re a farmer, and in 1231 the mongols drive you off your land. You go back in 1232 and try to re-seed your crops which probably have been burnt down to the soil. Three years later it’s the same story. 1235 you’re ordered to evacuate your home and escape to the islands. If you’ve made it this far, you return to your fields in 1238 and try to restart your life again. Seven years later, you have to run away again. Just brutal.

The Koreans knew about this impending attack because they began to see packs of Mongol horsemen roaming across the land. These Mongosl said they were hunting but the Korean authorities suspected them of being reconnaisance groups. The histories record that “The Seohae Province Commissioner, anchal-sa, reproted that forty mounted barbarians forded the Cheongcheon River and entered the borders saying they were hunting marmots. Due to this, all the yangban who had gone to Kaegyeong returned to Kanghwa.”

This would imply Mongol control north of the Cheongcheon River, which is plausible because the Yuan records mention that some cities in the northwest were retaken at this time.

Side note here, what this means is that there is still a definite difference between Mongol control and Mongol suzerainty. This river is in the northewest of Korea and is south of Pyeongyang, so that it looks like the Mongols controlled the territory north of that river.

In 1250, all the people of the Northwestern Frontier District were moved southward to the western capital, Pyeongyang, Kaegyeong and Seohae Province.

Mongols and Goryeo diplomatic ties remained, with Mongol envoys continuing to visit the capital. As far as the Eastern Jurchen were concerned, relations were still very bad, even though they and the goryeons were officially vassals of the Mongols. In spring of 1247, for example, a dispatch from the Jurchen notifying the Koreans that 50 Jurchen men were being sent into Goryeo territory to search for fugitives, Goryeo replied that there could be no possibility of travelers in that region since the mountains and roads so perilous between the two countries. Further, the Goryeo reply went on to accuse the Jurchen of raiding Goryeo under the pretext of hunting or tracking down fugitives.

It was also during this fourth offensive that Choe U dies and Choe Hang takes control of Goryeo.

Let’s take a brief tour of Ganghwa Island at this point. Remember that the fateful decision to relocate the capital of Goryeo to Ganghwa was made by Choe U in 1232. You may also recall that so hasty was the move that the king had to stay in a hostel.

Well by this time, the 1240s, the Goryeons have made the best of their situation and have made Kanghwa Island a more livable home. The city of Kangdo was made the official capital. The king had long since relocated, first from the hostel to a general’s home, then to a palace, which we believe was at least completed by 1243.

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That’s the first recorded mention we have of the bongwol (본궐(本闕)), or palace. Next were the ball fields (you may recall, the game of korean polo (격구 ( 擊毬)), which so attracted the ire of the censors before the military coup–i guess old habits die hard), temples and shrines, all resembling those of the older capital.

In this the Koreans were not alone; this reminds me a lot of how the Song were forced to relocate their capital from Kaifeng to Hangzhou, although they had to do it in 1129, almost a century earlier; and for the Chinese, it wasn’t to escape the Mongols, but to escape the Jin Empire. The Song never intended Hangzhou to be the capital, but gradually they settled there, and Hangzhou basically was modeled after Kaifeng. Unfortunately, Hangzhou sits between a mountain and a river, and so it became incredibly crowded. There’s a great book about contemporary Hangzhou called: “Daily Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion”, 1250-1276, written by a French writer named Jacques Gernet. If you want to know how advanced China was right before the Mongols threw a wrench in their civilization, read that book. It gives you a sense that Song China truly was at the pinnacle of society in the entire world, not just Asia.

Also on the island was the Bongeun Temple, the National Academy, or Gukjagam, built in 1251; and the Office for Xylographs of the Tripitaka (대장경판당), where in 1251, the Tripitaka was completed.

Of course, also on the island were the buildings belonging to the Choe clan, including the Household Bureau (진양부(晉陽府)). The Choe mansions and grounds were especially spectacular. In 1234, Choe U had used the Dobang and 4,000 soldiers to transport lumber by ship from the old capital, the process during which it is said many drowned. They also brought back enough pine and juniper trees to make a park “several tens of lis” in area by the mansion.

Choe U built an enormous “winged pavilion”, or shipja-gak, so called because it was shaped like a big cross, which sat west of his mansion. To the south was an enormous tower, said to have a capacity of 1,000 persons, which overlooked the polo field. Korean polo, called Gyeokku, is said to have originated in Persia, and was picked up by the Chinese and brought to Silla by Tang China back in 600-900. Both Choe U and Choe Hang were fond of gyeokku and would sponsor matches that would be veritable festivals, with the King and chief ministers in attendance, and with javelin throwing and mounted archery contests thrown in. Sometimes these events would last five or six days.

It’s hard to imagine that all this took place while the Mongols were ravaging the mainland. It’s good to be an aristocrat, i guess. So baitck to the narrative. Choe U dies in the winter of 1249, and as I detail in my Choe dynasty episodes, there’s a predictable purge of the old officials. Director of Affairs for the Bureau of Military of Affairs, Min Hui; and his co-adminstrator, Kim Kyongseon, are exiled to islands.

In 1251, Mongke ascends to the Mongol throne, and he repeats the two main demands of the Mongols from before: that the King visit the Mongol Court and that the capital be moved back to the mainland. Again, the Goryeo officials deliberate, trying to avoid both of these demands.

The goryeons replied that the king was too old and too sick to travel.

By mid 1252, 2,000 Eastern Jurchen troops are spotted crossing the frontier, just prior to the arrival of a delegation of MOngol envoys to the capital. By autumn of 1252, the Koreans are expecting the worst. The Special Supervisors of Defense were sent to all the mountain fortresses.

4TH OFFENSIVE

In early 1253, 300 Eastern Jurchen cavalry surrounded Deungju 등주(登州) in the northwest. The 4th Mongol Offensive of Korea had begun. By summer, the enormity of the offensive became clear when some citizens of Weonju, taken captive by the Mongols, were sent to the capital to inform the Goryeons that Amukan and Hong Bogweon had told the Emperor that Goryeo had no intention of returning the capital to the mainland.

The emperor ordered 10,000 to enter Korea from the Eastern frontier. He then orered Amukan and Hong Bogweon to enter from the Northern frontier.

After some diplomatic correspondence between mongol prince Yeku and the Goryeons, in the fifth month of 1253 the Mongols once again crossed the Yalu.

The Goryeo chief ministers considered sending the crown prince or his younger brother to lead the officials of the third rank and below out to submit.

Choe Hang replied that they had already continued to submit during the spring and autum, and they had already sent 300 envoys in the past, and none had returned. Thus he questioned whether submitting would stop the invasions.

Meanwhile, the Mongols pillaged throughout the northeast, while another force pillaged Seohae Province in the northwest.

Again, Prince Yeku repeated his demands. The King had six days to appear on the mainland.

The Goryeo ministers sent gifts to the Mongols, then replied: if the mongol armies withdraw, they would leave the islands and return to a peaceful life on the mainland.

Yeku said the troops could be withdrawn when the king came out.

Meanwhile the Mongol forces rode unchecked in groups ranging from ten to 3,000. As before, Goryeo avoided head to head combat, conserving their meager resources on defense and sending out night raids by the byeolcho.

Fierce fighting surrounded the cities. The garrisons in these towns were truly on their own.

In one shining example, Chungju (충주시, 忠州) withstood a seventy day siege, led by Special Defense Supervisor Kim Yunhu. When supplies ran out, Kim told his men to forget their class differences. He then burned the government slave registers and divided up the livestock which had been captured.

He promised that everyone who gave their all would receive an official rank. All his men fought valiantly and held back the Mongols.

True to his word, the Goryeo officials kept Kim’s promise and early in the following year, Kim was made Supervisor of the Gate Guards and given a temporary rank of Supreme General, while those in his force, including former government slaves and baekjeong, were given rank in accordance with their station. If you’ve listened to any of my other episodes on the military rule, you know how special and rare that is.

Not all cities were so fortunate. In one city, the Mongols built a double wooden barricade around the city to preent escape. Eventually, the wells ran dry inside the city, and so they drank the blood of the livestock. Some people burned themselves and their families to death. There was an attempt by a squad to break through the barriers but they were unsuccessful. In the end the Mongols slaughtered the inhabitants of the city.

In the winter of 1253, Prince Yeku gets sick during the siege of Chungju and is urged by a diviner to leave. Taking 1,000 men he rides north, presumably to Kaegyeong. Goryeo sends Hui, the Count of Yongan 영안공 왕희(永安公 王僖, ? ~ 1263년) to again ply the prince with gifts, and to request that the Mongols withdraw. But Yeku only responds, “the troops can be withdrawn only when the King crosses the river to welcome my envoys.” He then sends 10 men to Kanghwa headed by Mangyudai (mengkuta) (who, by the way, is the progenitor of the Mangud people, who would earn such a fierce reputation that the US Army to this day still names one of its multi-test training sessions after him).

Finally, after a long nineteen years since the capital absconded to Ganghwa Island from Kaegyeong, the King crossed the water to the mainland, escorted by 80 men of the NIght Patrol (야별초,夜別抄). Whereas the King normally received Mongol envoys at Chaepo (채포?), the entry point to Kanghwa Island, this time he met that at the new palace at 승천부, the launching point on the mainland to the island which by this time had become a walled city.

This of course was a huge symbolic milestone for this invasion. Things must have been pretty grim for the Koreans to finally concede this important point.

Mangyudai accused the king of killing thousands to save himself and demanded his submission. Yeku’s envoy tells the Goryeons to establish (or say we say, re-establish) daruyaci and to take down the walls on Kanghwa. The customary demands for gold, silver, otter pelts, ramie cloth and other items were made.

To their demands, the Goryeons pointed out that it wasn’t their custom to live out in the open in such a manner, since they had been the targets of pirates since time immeorial, and they reminded Yeku that he had promised the Mongols would withdraw if the King crossed to the mainland, which he so clearly just did. To Yeku’s demands for goods the Koreans begged insolvency but sent some articles in good faith. It wasn’t looking good for the Koreans.

In the last month of 1253, the Mongols lifted the siege of Chungju. Chang, the Duke of Angyeong (안경공(安慶公)은 고려의 왕족 왕창(王淐)) is dispatched to the Mongol garrison.

The next couple of months are quiet, save for some reports that the Mongols tried their hand at amphibious warfare, landing seven troopships on Gal Island (which is this tiny island off the coast of present day north korea), and taking hostage 30 households.

Otherwise it was quiet, mainly because Yeku was dismissed from duty by the Mongols, not because he was sick but because he was resentful as having to report under Prince Tala-erh.

In Spring of 1253, the Mongols under Amukan began withdrawing after the visit from Chang.

By now, the Korean King, Gojong (고종(高宗, 1192년 2월 3일 (음력 1월 18일) ~ 1259년 7월 21일 (음력 6월 30일)) was in the habit of traveling to Seungcheonbu 승천부 to meet the Mongol envoys. But soon the Koreans would receive notice that the Mongol Emperor had appointed Jalartai to govern Dongguk, or the Eastern Country, a.k.a. Goryeo.

But hold on: who is the mongol emperor at this point?

Let’s take a quick look to remind ourselves of the time that has passed since the Mongols first set foot on the Korean peninsula, ostensibly to help rid the Koreans of the Khitan:

Remember that Genghis Khan himself started the conquest of Korea. Here is who came after him:

Genghis Khan (1206–1227)

Tolui Khan (as Regent) (1227–1229)

Ögedei Khan (1229–1241)

Töregene Khatun (as Regent) (1243–1246)

Güyük Khan (1246–1248)

Oghul Qaimish (as Regent) (1248–1251)

Möngke Khan (1251–1259)

So the current emperor in 1254 is Mongke Khan. The conquest of Korea has dragged on for so long that the Mongol Empire has changed emperors six times. Imagine a US war that has lasted six changes in presidencies. In today’s terms, that means a war was started under Jimmy Carter’s presidency and continues until today.

Shortly thereafter, another envoy arrived with a dispatch which read: Although the King had crossed to the mainland, Yi Eungnyeol, Joo Yeonggyu and Yu Gyeong and most importantly, Choe Hang, had not come over. “Was this truly submission?” The note ominously asked.

Indeed. We have not seen the end of this conquest. And that’s where we’ll end this episode.

 

전주시 고려

춘주시 고려

츤주시 고려

승천부

영안 고려

채포 강화 고려

안경공 왕

왕족

봉작

 

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