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Korean names for Korea

As Korea is divided, there is no unified name for Korea in the Korean language. North Koreans use Chosŏn while South Koreans call themselves Han. North Koreans never use Han and South Koreans do not use Joseon (Chosŏn) with few exceptions such as "Chosun Ilbo", a South Korean newspaper [1] (http://english.chosun.com). The Korean language is Chosŏnŏ or Chosŏnmal in the North, and Han-gug-eo or Han-gungmal in the South. Hangul is the South Korean name. North Koreans prefer to call it Chosŏn'gŭl. The Korean Peninsula is Chosŏn Pando in the North and Han Bando in the South.


Historically speaking, Chosŏn referred to the northern area and Han to the southern region in general. Chosŏn was an old kingdom in northwestern Korea, which was destroyed by the Chinese Han Empire in 108 BC. Han was a region in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. Chosŏn was extended to the whole peninsula during the Joseon (Yi) Dynasty[?] (1392-1894). Its founder Yi Seonggye[?] adopted this name after the old kingdom. After the full independence from the Manchu Empire, the kingdom was renamed to the Han Empire (Daehan Je'guk) in 1894. It was for less than 20 years that Han referred to the whole peninsula. When Korea was annexed to Japan in 1910, Han was renamed to Chosen (Japanese pronunciation of Chosŏn) again. When North and South Koreas were established in 1948, the North adopted Chosŏn and the South adopted Han.

Western names

Russian citizens of Korean descent call themselves "Goryeo people" to avoid the North-South conflict. Goryeo was just one of the dynasties in Korea, but is the etymology of the English name Korea. The diachronic use of Goryeo in Korean was made under the influence of European languages.

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