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North South States Period
Hangul 남북국시대
Hanja 南北國時代
Revised Romanization Nambukgukshidae
McCune–Reischauer Nampukkuksitae
Korea unified vertical.svgHistory of Korea

 Jeulmun period
 Mumun period
Gojoseon 2333–108 BC
 Jin state
Proto-Three Kingdoms: 108–57 BC
 Buyeo, Okjeo, Dongye
 Samhan: Ma, Byeon, Jin
Three Kingdoms: 57 BC – 668 AD
 Goguryeo 37 BC – 668 AD
 Baekje 18 BC – 660 AD
 Silla 57 BC – 935 AD
 Gaya 42–562
North-South States: 698–935
 Unified Silla 668–935
 Balhae 698–926
 Later Three Kingdoms 892–935
  Later Goguryeo, Later Baekje, Silla
Goryeo Dynasty 918–1392
Joseon Dynasty 1392–1897
Korean Empire 1897–1910
Japanese rule 1910–1945
 Provisional Gov't 1919–1948
Division of Korea 1945–1948
North, South Korea 1948–present
 Korean War 1950–1953

Korea Portal

North South States Period (698 CE - 936 CE) refers to the period in Korean history when Silla and Balhae coexisted at the south and the north.[1][2]


Unified Silla

After the unification wars, the Tang Dynasty established territories in the former Goguryeo, and began to administer and establish communities in Baekje. Silla attacked the Chinese in Baekje and northern Korea in 671.

China then invaded Silla in 674 but Silla defeated the Chinese army in the north. Silla drove the Tang forces out of the peninsula by 676 to achieve unification of most of the Three Kingdoms.

Unified Silla was a time when Korean arts flourished dramatically and Buddhism became a large part of Silla culture. Buddhist monasteries such as the Bulguksa are examples of advanced Korean architecture and Buddhist influence. State-sponsored art and architecture from this period include Hwangnyongsa Temple, Bunhwangsa Temple, and Seokguram Grotto, a World Heritage Site.

Silla began to experience political troubles in 780. This severely weakened Silla and soon thereafter, descendants of the former Baekje established Later Baekje. In the north, rebels revived Goguryeo, beginning the Later Three Kingdoms period.

Unified Silla lasted for 267 years until, under King Gyeongsun, it was absorbed by Goryeo in 935.[3]


Balhae was founded after Goguryeo had fallen. It was founded in the northern part of former lands of Goguryeo by Dae Joyeong, a former Goguryeo general. Balhae controlled the northern areas of the Korean Peninsula, much of Manchuria, and expanded into present-day Russian Maritime Province. Balhae styled itself as Goguryeo's successor state.

In a time of relative peace and stability in the region, Balhae flourished, especially during the long reign of the third Emperor Mun (r. 737-793) and King Seon. However, Balhae was severely weakened by the tenth century, and the Khitan Liao Dynasty conquered Balhae in 926.

Goryeo absorbed some Balhae territory and received Balhae refugees, including the crown prince and the royal family, but compiled no known histories of Balhae either. The eighteenth century Joseon dynasty historian Yu Deukgong advocated the proper study of Balhae as part of Korean history, and coined the term "North and South States Period" to refer to this era.



Due to the lack of linguistic evidence, it is difficllt to make a definitive conclusion for the linguistic relation between Balhae and Silla language. Though, an ancient Japanese record, Shoku Nihongi implies the close relationship between the Balhae and Silla language: a student sent from Silla to Japan for an interpreter training of Japanese language, assisted a diplomatic envoy from Balhae in communicating during the Japanese imperial court audience.

See also



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