First conflict in the Goryeo–Khitan War

The First Goryeo-Khitan War (Chinese: 第一次高麗契丹戰爭; Korean제1차 고려-거란 전쟁) was a 10th-century conflict between the Goryeo dynasty of Korea and the Khitan-led Liao dynasty of China 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).

First Goryeo–Khitan War
Part of Goryeo-Khitan Wars
993 Khitan Goryeo invasion.png
DateNovember 993 - December 993

Diplomatic resolution

  • Liao dynasty 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

In 993, the Liao dynasty 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, Liao forces withdrew. The Liao dynasty gave Goryeo permission to incorporate the land along the border of the two states, 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 the Song dynasty,[10] having strengthened its defenses by building fortresses in the newly gained northern territories.[2]

See alsoEdit


  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, hdl:1773/24231.
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