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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.The North was under Soviet occupation and the South under U. The Communist-inspired government in the North received backing from the Soviet Union in opposition to the pro-Western government in the South, leading to Korea's division into two political entities: North Korea (formally the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), and South Korea (formally the Republic of Korea).Tensions between the two resulted in the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950.The first 200 years of Joseon were marked by relative peace.During this period, the Korean alphabet was created by Sejong the Great in the 15th century and there was increasing influence of Confucianism.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.

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.

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.

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.

These three confederacies eventually developed into Baekje, Silla, and Gaya.

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