North Korea the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is a country in East Asia constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, with Pyongyang the capital and the largest city in the country. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo, one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. To the north and northwest, the country is bordered by China and by Russia along the Amnok and Tumen rivers. North Korea, like its southern counterpart, claims to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands. In 1910, Korea was annexed by Imperial Japan. After the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II in 1945, Korea was divided into two zones, with the north occupied by the Soviet Union and the south occupied by the United States. Negotiations on reunification failed, in 1948, separate governments were formed: the socialist Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north, the capitalist Republic of Korea in the south.
An invasion initiated by North Korea led to the Korean War. The Korean Armistice Agreement brought about a ceasefire. North Korea describes itself as a "self-reliant" socialist state, formally holds elections, though said elections have been described by outside observers as sham elections. Outside observers generally view North Korea as a Stalinist totalitarian dictatorship noting the elaborate cult of personality around Kim Il-sung and his family; the Workers' Party of Korea, led by a member of the ruling family, holds power in the state and leads the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland of which all political officers are required to be members. Juche, an ideology of national self-reliance, was introduced into the constitution in 1972; the means of production are owned by the state through state-run enterprises and collectivized farms. Most services such as healthcare, education and food production are subsidized or state-funded. From 1994 to 1998, North Korea suffered a famine that resulted in the deaths of between 240,000 and 420,000 people, the population continues to suffer malnutrition.
North Korea follows "military-first" policy. It is the country with the highest number of military and paramilitary personnel, with a total of 9,495,000 active and paramilitary personnel, or 37% of its population, its active duty army of 1.21 million is the fourth largest in the world, after China, the United States and India. It possesses nuclear weapons; the UN inquiry into human rights in North Korea concluded that, "The gravity and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world". The North Korean regime denies most allegations, accusing international organizations of fabricating human rights abuses as part of a smear campaign with the covert intention of undermining the state, although they admit that there are human rights issues relating to living conditions which the regime is attempting to correct. In addition to being a member of the United Nations since 1991, the sovereign state is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, G77 and the ASEAN Regional Forum.
The name Korea derives from the name Goryeo. The name Goryeo itself was first used by the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo in the 5th century as a shortened form of its name; the 10th-century kingdom of Goryeo succeeded Goguryeo, thus inherited its name, pronounced by visiting Persian merchants as "Korea". The modern spelling of Korea first appeared in the late 17th century in the travel writings of the Dutch East India Company's Hendrick Hamel. After the division of the country into North and South Korea, the two sides used different terms to refer to Korea: Chosun or Joseon in North Korea, Hanguk in South Korea. In 1948, North Korea adopted Democratic People's Republic of Korea as its new legal name. In the wider world, because the government controls the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, it is called North Korea to distinguish it from South Korea, called the Republic of Korea in English. Both governments consider themselves to be the legitimate government of the whole of Korea. For this reason, the people do not consider themselves as'North Koreans' but as Koreans in the same divided country as their compatriots in the South and foreign visitors are discouraged from using the former term.
After the First Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War, Korea was occupied by Japan from 1910 to 1945. Japan tried to suppress Korean traditions and culture and ran the economy for its own benefit. Korean resistance groups known as Dongnipgun operated along the Sino-Korean border, fighting guerrilla warfare against Japanese forces; some of them took part in parts of South East Asia. One of the guerrilla leaders was the communist Kim Il-sung, who became the first leader of North Korea. At the end of World War II in 1945, the Korean Peninsula was divided into two zones along the 38th parallel, with the northern half of the peninsula occupied by the Soviet Union and the southern half by the United States; the drawing of the division was assigned to two American officers, diplomat Dean Rusk and Army officer Charles Bone
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
The Korean Peninsula is located in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 1,100 km from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the east and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the two bodies of water; the peninsula's names, in Korean and Japanese, all share the same origin, that being Joseon, the old name of Korea under the Joseon Dynasty and Gojoseon longer before that. In North Korea's standard language, the peninsula is called Chosŏn Pando, while in China, as well as in Singapore and Malaysia it is called Cháoxiǎn Bàndǎo. In Japan, it is either Chōsenhantō or Kanhantō. In Vietnam, it is called Bán đảo Triều Tiên. Meanwhile, in South Korea, it is called Hanbando, referring to the Samhan the Three Kingdoms of Korea, not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula, they both use "Korea" as part of their official English names, a name that comes from the Goryeo dynasty. Until the end of World War II, Korea was a single political entity whose territory coincided with the Korean Peninsula.
In August 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Imperial Japan, as a result of an agreement with the United States, liberated Korea north of the 38th parallel. U. S. forces subsequently moved into the south. By 1948, as a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea was divided into two regions, with separate governments. Both claimed to be the legitimate government of all of Korea, neither accepted the border as permanent; the conflict escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces—supported by the Soviet Union and China—moved into the south on 25 June 1950. Since the Armistice Agreement ended the Korean War in 1953, the northern section of the peninsula has been governed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, while the southern portion has been governed by the Republic of Korea; the northern boundaries for the Korean Peninsula are taken to coincide with today's political borders between North Korea and its northern neighbors and Russia. These borders are formed by the rivers Amnok and Duman.
Taking this definition, the Korean Peninsula has an area of 220,847 km2. The Korean Peninsula has a temperate climate with comparatively fewer typhoons than other countries in East Asia. Due to the peninsula's position, it has a unique climate influenced from Siberia in the north, the Pacific Ocean in the east and the rest of Eurasia in the west; the peninsula has four distinct seasons: spring, summer and winter. As influence from Siberia weakens, temperatures begin to increase while the high pressure begins to move away. If the weather is abnormally dry, Siberia will have more influence on the peninsula leading to wintry weather such as snow. During June at the start of the summer, there tends to be a lot of rain due to the cold and wet air from the Sea of Okhotsk and the hot and humid air from the Pacific Ocean combining; when these fronts combine, it leads to a so-called rainy season with cloudy days with rain, sometimes heavy. The hot and humid winds from the south west blow causing an increasing amount of humidity and this leads to the fronts moving towards Manchuria in China and thus there is less rain and this is known as midsummer.
High pressure is dominant during autumn leading to clear conditions. Furthermore, temperatures remain high but the humidity becomes low; the weather becomes dominated by Siberia during winter and the jet stream moves further south causing a drop in temperature. This season is dry with some snow falling at times. Temperatures can drop to -20 °C in the mountainous areas; the Korean Peninsula is located in East Asia. To the northwest, the Amnok River separates the peninsula from China and to the northeast, the Duman River separates it from China and Russia; the peninsula is surrounded by the Yellow Sea to the west, the East China Sea and Korea Strait to the south, the Sea of Japan to the east. Notable islands include Ulleung Island, Dokdo; the southern and western parts of the peninsula have well-developed plains, while the eastern and northern parts are mountainous. The highest mountain in Korea is Mount Paektu; the southern extension of Mount Paektu is a highland called Gaema Heights. This highland was raised during the Cenozoic orogeny and covered by volcanic matter.
To the south of Gaema Gowon, successive high mountains are located along the eastern coast of the peninsula. This mountain range is named Baekdudaegan; some significant mountains include Mount Sobaek or Sobaeksan, Mount Kumgang, Mount Seorak, Mount Taebaek, Mount Jiri. There are several lower, secondary mountain series whose direction is perpendicular to that of Baekdudaegan, they are developed along the tectonic line of Mesozoic orogeny and their directions are northwest. Unlike most ancient mountains on the mainland, many important islands in Korea were formed by volcanic activity in the Cenozoic orogeny. Jeju Island, situated off the southern coast, is a large volcanic island whose main mountain Mount Halla or Hallasan is the highest in South Korea. Ulleung Island is a volcanic island in the Sea of
Emperor Taizu of Jin
Emperor Taizu of Jin, personal name Aguda, sinicised name Min, was the founder and first emperor of the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty, which ruled northern China between the 12th and 13th centuries. He was the chieftain of the Wanyan tribe, the most dominant among the Jurchen tribes which were subjects of the Khitan-led Liao dynasty. Starting in 1114, Aguda united the Jurchen tribes under his rule and rebelled against the Liao dynasty. A year he declared himself emperor and established the Jin dynasty. By the time of his death, the Jin dynasty had conquered most of the Liao dynasty's territories and emerged as a major power in northern China. In 1145, he was posthumously honoured with the temple name Taizu by Emperor Xizong; the name Aguda is transcribed A-ku-ta in Wade-Giles. Aguda was the second son of the chieftain of the Wanyan tribe, his mother was a daughter of the chieftain of the Nalan tribe. He was born in 1068 near the Ashi River within Heilongjiang Province, he was well-known within his tribe for his bravery, had participated in numerous campaigns against rival Jurchen tribes at the command of the Khitan-led Liao dynasty.
In 1109, during the height of a widespread famine, Aguda assisted his father in absorbing famished warriors from other Jurchen tribes to strengthen his own tribe. He fought wars against other Jurchen tribes and succeeded to unify all Jurchens under the Wanyan tribe's leadership. In 1113, Aguda succeeded Wuyashu, as the leader of his tribe. Like other Jurchens, Aguda loathed what he considered the exploitation of his tribesmen by corrupt Liao officials. In 1112, when the Liao ruler, Emperor Tianzuo, went on a fishing expedition in Jurchen territory, he ordered all the chieftains to dance for him. Aguda became famous among the Jurchens. In early 1114, Aguda sent spies into Liao territory and prepared to revolt against the Khitan regime, which he considered decadent, his chief advisors were Wanyan Xiyin. In September, Aguda rallied his tribesmen at Liushui and rebelled against the Liao dynasty, his cavalry captured Ningjiangzhou and defeated a 7,000-strong Liao army at the Battle of Chuhedian in November.
In January 1115, following a series of military successes, Aguda proclaimed himself emperor, established the Jin dynasty, adopted the regnal name "Shouguo". In August, his army conquered Huanglong Prefecture and defeated 700,000 Liao troops with only 20,000 horsemen at the Battle of Hubudagang. By 1116, Aguda had completed the conquest of the entire Liaodong Peninsula. Between 1119 and 1122, his army defeated Liao forces and captured all of the Liao dynasty's five capitals. Since the Jin dynasty was an enemy of the Liao dynasty, the Han Chinese-led Northern Song dynasty considered the Jin dynasty to be their natural allies. In 1117, the Song dynasty sent emissaries to the Jin dynasty, ostensibly to buy horses, but in reality to negotiate an alliance against the Liao dynasty. Between 1117 and 1123, seven Song delegations visited the Jurchens, six Jin embassies went to the Song capital, Bianjing. Between 1115 and 1123, the Jin and Song dynasties negotiated and formed the Alliance Conducted at Sea against the Liao dynasty.
Under the conditions of the alliance, the Song dynasty would attack the Liao dynasty from the south, while in return, the Jin dynasty would hand over control of the Liao dynasty's Sixteen Prefectures to the Song dynasty. During the war against the Liao dynasty, Aguda took time to establish the new feudal governmental system based on Jurchen tribal customs, he organised the national agriculture with a collectivist system known as the Meng'an-Mouke. Furthermore, Aguda absorbed elements of Han Chinese culture and ordered his chancellor Wanyan Xiyin to develop a unique Jurchen writing system. Aguda died in August 1123, at the age of 56, his death came a few months after the Jin and Song dynasties signed a treaty which recognised each other as equals and required the Song to pay the Jin an annual tribute of 200,000 taels of silver and 300,000 bolts of silk. Aguda was succeeded by Wuqimai. Wuqimai continued the campaign against the Liao dynasty and captured the Liao emperor, Emperor Tianzuo in 1125, thereby ending the Liao dynasty's existence.
Soon after conquering the Liao dynasty, the Jin dynasty waged war against the Northern Song dynasty. Aguda was buried in the Rui Mausoleum at Dafangshan outside Zhongdu. Mounted statues of Aguda and his chief commander, Wanyan Zonghan, have been erected on the grounds of the Jin Dynasty History Museum at the former location of the old Jin capital, near present-day Acheng District, Heilongjiang Province. Father: Helibo, posthumously honoured as Emperor Shizu Mother: Lady Nalan, posthumously honoured as Empress Yijian Wives: Lady Tangkuo, posthumously honoured as Empress Shengmu, bore Shengguo and Moliye Lady Peiman, posthumously honoured as Empress Guangyi, bore Woben Lady Heshilie, posthumously honoured as Empress Qinxian, bore Wolibu and Elu Lady Pusan, posthumously honoured as Empress Xuanxian, bore Eliduo and Eluduo Lady Wugulun, Consort Yuan, bore Wuzhu and Alubu Lady Xiao
Kaesong is a city in North Hwanghae Province in the southern part of North Korea, a former Directly Governed City and the capital of Korea during the Taebong kingdom and subsequent Goryeo dynasty. The city is near the Kaesong Industrial Region close to the border with South Korea and contains the remains of the Manwoldae palace. Called Songdo while it was the ancient capital of Goryeo, the city prospered as a trade centre that produced Korean ginseng. Kaesong now functions as the DPRK's light industry centre. During the Japanese occupation from 1910 to 1945, the city was known by the Japanese pronunciation of its name, "Kaijō". Between 1945 and 1950, Kaesong was part of South Korea and under its control; the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement left the city under North Korean control. It is the only city to have changed hands from South to North Korean control as a result of the armistice agreement. Due to the city's proximity to the border with South Korea, Kaesong has hosted cross-border economic exchanges between the two countries as well as the jointly run Kaesong Industrial Region.
As of 2009, the city had a population of 192,578. The earliest archaeological signs of habitation in the Kaesong area date from the Neolithic. Artifacts such as Jeulmun pottery, stone ware, stone axes have been excavated from Osongsan and Kaesong Nasong, the double-walled fortress of Kaesong; as Kaesong has been occupied by various states throughout centuries, its name has changed. It was in the realm of Mahan confederacy, was referred to as Busogap during the rule of Goguryeo. Before the strength of Baekje was retreated to the southwest of Jungnyeong, Mungyeong Saejae, Asan Bay in 475, the area had been a part of Baekje for about 100 years. However, it became a territory of Silla in 555, the 16th year of Jinheung of Silla's reign, its name was changed to Song'ak-gun during the period. According to the Samguk Sagi, when a castle was built in the site in 694, the third year of Hyoso of Silla's reign, Kaesong was referred to as "Song'ak". Therefore, it is assumed. Silla began to decline in late 9th century, a period of rival warlords ensued.
In 898, Kaesong fell under the hand of Gung Ye, the founder of his short-lived state and became a part of Goryeo in 919 by its founder, Wang Geon, enthroned as Taejo of Goryeo. Taejo established the capital in the south of Song'ak, incorporated Kaesong into Song'ak under the name of "Gaeju". In 919, Kaesong became the national capital. In 960, the 11th year of Gwangjong of Goryeo's reign, the city was renamed Gaegyeong, in 995, the 14th year of Seonjong of Goryeo's reign, it was elevated to "Gaesong-bu"; the Gaeseong-bu is a combined term of Song'ak-gun, Gaesong-gun, different from the region of the pre-1945 Gaesong-ri, Seo-myeon, Kaepung-gun. In 1010, the first year of Hyeonjong of Goryeo's reign, the palace and houses were burnt down during the second conflict in the Goryeo–Khitan War, so in 1018, Gaesong-bu was relegated for the "bu" system, became to govern the three hyeon unites of Jeongju and Gangeum. In the late 12th century, there was instability in the countryside. A slave named Manjǒk led a group of slaves who gathered outside Kaesong in 1198.
The revolt plot was suppressed by Choe Chung-heon. When Yi Songgye overthrew Goryeo in 1392 and established the Joseon as Taejo of Joseon, he moved the Korean capital from Kaesong to Hanyang in 1394. Kaesong remained a part of Gyeonggi Province until the Korean War; when Korea was partitioned at the 38th parallel after World War II, Kaesong was on the southern side of the line. However, the battle of Kaesong-Munsan was won by the Korean People's Army in the first days of the Korean War; the city was recaptured by UN Forces on 9 October 1950 during the pursuit of the KPA that followed the successful Inchon landings. UN Forces abandoned the city 16 December 1950 during the withdrawal to the Imjin River following the Chinese People's Volunteer Army intervention in the war. Kaesong would remain under Chinese/North Korean control until the end of the war. Ceasefire negotiations began in Kaesong on 10 July 1951, but were moved to Panmunjom on 25 October 1951; the Korean Armistice Agreement signed on 27 July 1953 recognised North Korean control over Kaesong making it the only city to change control from South Korea to North Korea as a result of the war.
Postwar Kaesong and the part of Kyonggi Province that came to be occupied was organized into "Kaesong Region". In 1955, Kaesong became a "Directly Governed City". In 2002, Kaesŏng Industrial Region was formed from part of Kaesong. In 2003, the remaining part of Kaesong became part of North Hwanghae Province; the city is close to the Demilitarized Zone that divides South Korea. Located in the center of Korea, Kaesong is the southernmost city of North Korea, it is bordered by Kaepung, Changpung and Kumchon counties. Kanghwa Island of Incheon Municipality lies just south, beyond a narrow channel, it covers an area of 1,309 km ², the urban district is surrounded by Pongmyong mountains. The city center surrounds the much smaller Mt. Janam, on, located the city's iconic Kim Il Sung statue. In the northern part of Kaesong, the end of the Ahobiryŏng range creates the northernmost border of Kaesong City; this range consists of Mts. Chŏnma, Sŏnggŏ, Suryong, Chesŏk, Ogwan. With the exception of the mountainous northeastern region, most areas of Kaesong consist of low h
The Liao dynasty known as the Liao Empire the Great Liao, or the Khitan State, was an empire in East Asia that ruled from 907 to 1125 over present-day Northern and Northeast China and portions of the Russian Far East and North Korea. The empire was founded by Yelü Abaoji, Khagan of the Khitans around the time of the collapse of Tang China and was the first state to control all of Manchuria. After its founding, the Khitan Empire began a process of territorial expansion, with Abaoji leading a successful conquest of Balhae. Emperors would gain the Sixteen Prefectures by fueling a proxy war that led to the collapse of the Later Tang and would establish tributary relationships with Goryeo after losing in Goryeo–Khitan Wars against Goryeo. In 1004, Liao Dynasty launched an imperial expedition against the Northern Song. After heavy fighting and large casualties between two countries, the two sides worked out the Chanyuan Treaty. Through the treaty Liao forced the Northern Song to recognize them as peers.
Tension between traditional Khitan social and political practices and Chinese influence and customs was a defining feature of the dynasty. This tension led to a series of succession crises. So different were Chinese practices that Abaoji set up two parallel governments; the Northern Administration governed Khitan areas following traditional Khitan practices, while the Southern Administration governed areas with large non-Khitan populations, adopting traditional Chinese governmental practices. Differences between Chinese and Khitan society included gender roles and marital practices: the Khitans took a more egalitarian view towards gender, in sharp contrast to Chinese cultural practices that segregated men's and women's roles. Khitan women were taught to hunt, managed family property, held military posts. Many marriages were not arranged, women were not required to be virgins at their first marriage, women had the right to divorce and remarry; the Liao dynasty was destroyed by the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty in 1125 with the capture of Emperor Tianzuo of Liao.
However, the remnant Khitan, led by Yelü Dashi, established the Qara Khitai, which ruled over parts of Central Asia for a century before being conquered by the Mongols. Although cultural achievements associated with the Liao dynasty are considerable, a number of various statuary and other artifacts exist in museums and other collections, major questions remain over the exact nature and extent of the influence of the Liao Khitan culture upon subsequent developments, such as the musical and theatrical arts; the Liao dynasty was known as the Khitan or Khitan state in 916. The name "Great Liao" began to appear as the country name between 936 and 947; the dynasty name "Liao" refers to the Liao River in southern Manchuria, the traditional Khitan homeland. Since 983, the state became again known as the Khitan, but "Great Liao" reappeared as the country name in 1066, which lasted until the end of the dynasty. Neither the origins, ethnic makeup, nor early history of the Khitans are well documented in historical records.
The earliest reference to a Khitan state is found in the Book of Wei, a history of the Northern Wei Dynasty, completed in 554. Several books written after 554 mention the Khitans as being active during the late third and early fourth centuries; the Book of Jin, a history of the Jin dynasty, refers to the Khitans in the section covering the reign of Murong Sheng. Samguk Sagi, a history of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, mentions a Khitan raid taking place in 378. According to sinologists Denis C. Twitchett and Klaus-Peter Tietze, it is held that the Khitans emerged from the Yuwen branch of the Xianbei people. Following a defeat at the hands of another branch of the Xianbei in 345, the Yuwen split into three tribes, one of, called the Kumo Xi. In 388 the Kumo Xi itself split, with one group remaining under the name Kumo Xi and the other group becoming the Khitans; this view is backed up by the Book of Wei, which describes the Khitans as being of Xianbei origins. There are several competing theories on the origin of the Khitans.
Beginning in the Song dynasty, some Chinese scholars suggested that the Khitans might have descended from the Xiongnu people. While modern historians have rejected the idea that the Khitan were Xiongnu in origin, there is some support for the claim that they are of mixed Xianbei and Xiongnu origin. Beginning with Rashid-al-Din Hamadani in the fourteenth century, several Western scholars have theorized that the Khitans were Mongolic in origin, in the late 19th century Western scholars made the claim that the Khitans were Tungusic in origin—modern linguistic analysis has discredited this claim. Many similar words exist between Khitan and Koreanic languages that are not found in Tungusic or Mongolic languages. By the time the Book of Wei was written in 554, the Khitans had formed a state in what is now China's Jilin and Liaoning Provinces; the Khitans suffered a series of military defeats to other nomadic groups in the region, as well as to the Chinese Northern Qi and Sui Dynasties. Khitan tribes at various times fell under the influence of Turkic tribes such as the Uighurs and Chinese dynasties such as the Sui and Tang.
This influence would shape Khitan language and culture. In the Suishu th