The history of the origin of Korea is veiled in myth and legend, especially in the northern regions of present day Manchuria and Central Asia. Korean civilization had a mythical origin in the Manchuria with the myth of Dangun in 2333 B.C.E. or earlier. Dangun is said to have founded Gojoseon, a kingdom that moved from the mythical to the legendary with the appearance of Gija in 1222 B.C.E.
Legend tells the story that Gija migrated from China to establish the kingdom of Gija Joseon in 1222 B.C.E. A legendary Chinese prince, Gija established a kingdom embodying Chinese civilization. A difficulty in reconciling the Dangun/Gojoseon and Gija/Gija Joseon stories emerges. Did Gija immigrate to Gojoseon, creating Gija Joseon within its boundaries? Or did Gija Chosen set up a parallel kingdom of Gija Joseon west of Gojoseon? Since this is the realm of myth and legend, without trustworthy archaeological evidence or historical documents from which to work, there is no way to definitively answer these questions.
Yet, historians know that the historical Korean kingdom of Goguryeo, one of the kingdoms in the Three Kingdoms Period along with Silla and Baekje, considered themselves the successors of both Gojoseon and Gija Joseon, tracing their roots to at least 2333 B.C.E. The likelihood of both Dangun and Gija having migrated to the Manchurian wilderness from China is high. Chinese scholars point to that likelihood, aiming to make the case that Gojoseon and Gija Joseon constitute Chinese provinces, not early Korean kingdoms. The case is strengthened when Chinese scholars point to the historical fact that after the Khitan people conquered Balhae, the successor of Gojoseon, Gija Joseon, and Goguryeo, the southern Korean kingdoms of Goryeo and Joseon never staged a serious military campaign to reclaim their ancestral home lands.
Korean scholars, acknowledging Korea's lack of success to reclaim their ancient territory, a territory ruled by Korean kingdoms for approximately 3200 years before falling to the Khitans,
contend that does not mean Gojoseon, Goguryeo, and Balhae constituted a part of China any more than Silla, Baekja, Goryeo, or Joseon constitute provinces of China.