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The name Korea is now commonly used in English contexts by both North and South Korea.
By the late 19th century, the country became the object of imperial design by the Empire of Japan.However, multiple invasions by the Mongol Yuan Dynasty during the 13th century greatly weakened the nation, which eventually agreed to become a vassal state after decades of fighting.Following the Yuan Dynasty's collapse, severe political strife followed, and Goryeo eventually fell to a coup led by General Yi Seong-gye, who established Joseon in 1392.Three of the commanderies fell or retreated westward within a few decades, but the Lelang commandery remained as a center of cultural and economic exchange with successive Chinese dynasties for four centuries.By 313, Goguryeo annexed all of the Chinese commanderies.After the First Sino-Japanese War, despite the Korean Empire's effort to modernize, it was annexed by Japan in 1910 and ruled by Imperial Japan until the end of World War II in August 1945.
In 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces in Korea in the aftermath of World War II, leaving Korea partitioned along the 38th parallel. These circumstances soon became the basis for the division of Korea by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their incapability to agree on the terms of Korean independence.
To date, each country contends that it is the sole legitimate government of all of Korea; they refuse to recognize the other as legitimate.
based on the kingdom of Goryeo (Koryŏ), which ruled most of the Korean peninsula during Marco Polo's time.
With the fall of Gojoseon, southern Korea entered the Samhan period.
Located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, Samhan refers to the three confederacies of Mahan, Jinhan, and Byeonhan. Byeonhan and Jinhan both consisted of twelve states, bringing a total of 78 states within the Samhan.
Around the same time, Balhae collapsed and its last crown prince fled south to Goryeo.