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"Great Joseon" was the name of the kingdom ruled by the Joseon dynasty from 1393 until their declaration of the short-lived Great Korean Empire in 1897.
It is separated from Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
Korea emerged as a singular political entity in 676 AD, after centuries of conflict among the Three Kingdoms of Korea, which were unified as Unified Silla to the south and Balhae to the north.
Unified Silla divided into three separate states during the Later Three Kingdoms period.
Goryeo, which had succeeded Goguryeo, defeated the two other states and united the Korean Peninsula.
In South Korea, Korea as a whole is referred to as or Gan) of a native Korean word that seems to have had the meaning "big" or "great", particularly in reference to leaders.
In 642, the powerful general Yeon Gaesomun led a coup and gained complete control over Goguryeo.In response, Emperor Tang Taizong of China led a campaign against Goguryeo, but was defeated and retreated.
However, Yeon Gaesomun died of a natural cause in 666 and Goguryeo was thrown into chaos and weakened by a succession struggle among his sons and younger brother, with his eldest son defecting to Tang and his younger brother defecting to Silla.This time period saw numerous states spring up from the former territories of Gojoseon, which encompassed northern Korea and southern Manchuria.With the fall of Gojoseon, southern Korea entered the Samhan period.To date, each country contends that it is the sole legitimate government of all of Korea; they refuse to recognize the other as legitimate. With expanding British and American trade following the opening of Korea in the late 19th century, the spelling "Korea" appeared and gradually grew in popularity; its use in transcribing East Asian languages avoids the issues caused by the separate hard and soft Cs existing in English vocabulary derived from the Romance languages.The name Korea is now commonly used in English contexts by both North and South Korea.In North Korea, China, Vietnam and Japan, Korea as a whole is referred to as "[land of the] Morning Calm").