Korea-China History Awareness

Koguryo–Sui , Tang War

    ▶ The Koguryo–Sui , Tang War was a civil war in China.
    ▶ Koguryo–Sui , Tang War was an international war between two unique dynasties.

▲ Suntory Temple Mountain FortressKoguryo mountain fortress in southern Liaodong Peninsula with well-preserved stone wall remains.

The Northeast Project asserts that the invasion of Koguryo by the Sui dynasty was in fact a civil war to suppress a rebellion and unify China. Furthermore, it contends that Koguryo accepted, without refutation, a royal message from Emperor Yang of Sui, Taejong of Tang justifying the invasion. These claims emphasize the justification for the war stating that Koguryo broke a subordinate relationship with the Sui, Tang dynasty.

The Koguryo-Sui, Tang War began as an effort by the Sui, Tang dynasty to conquer Koguryo which proved to be an obstacle in unifying East Asia under Chinese rule. Sui, Tang dynasty attempted to achieve hegemony throughout Asia, but Koguryo's desire to defend its own territory meant that a compromise was impossible. Neighboring forces including Silla, Baekje, Japan, and the Göktürks became involved according to their own self-interests, and an international war eventually developed in the region.


Facts about the Koguryo–Sui, Tang War


• Sui dynasty unified the Central Plains and subsequently the Southern and Northern Dynasties. → This is a recognition of the fact that Koguryo was not a part of the Sui dynasty administration.
• The Old Book of Tang and New Book of Tang both contain records questioning, "Koguryo and China are two separate countries, so is there any need to bother with trying to dominate [the country]?"
• As the Tang dynasty alone could not conquer Koguryo, it allied with Silla to complete the task. Thus, this war was an international affair.

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