Wang Kon

Wang Kon

 

Born 877; died 943. First ruler (Wang) during the period of 918 to 943 of the Korean state of Koryo. Founder of the Wang dynasty.

Wang Kon was a vassal of Kung Yeh, the ruler of the Korean feudal state of Taebong (proclaimed at the beginning of the tenth century). He strengthened his position during the wars between Taebong and the neighboring state of Hupaekche. In 918 he overthrew Kung Yeh and became the ruler of the state of Taebong, which was renamed Koryo. In 935 the last king of the state of Silla yielded his power to Wang Kon. In 936, Wang Kon utterly defeated Hupaekche and became the ruler of all Korea.

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The powerful local gentry of late Unified Silla, including Wang Kon, the future first king of Koryo, became the primary supporters of Son Buddhism.