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Byeolmuban is the name of a special army unit in the time of Korea's Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). The word byeol literally means star, but also has the meaning of special. Founding of the army was initiated by Yun Gwan during the reign of king Sukjong of Goryeo.

The army was put together to fight the Jurchen who were putting pressure on Goryeo's northern borders. The Goryeo infantry had a hard time resisting the strong Jurchen cavalry.


The Byeolmuban army had six divisions: Yun Gwan's regular army and Armor Guards called Jeonggyugun (, ) Infantry called Sinbogun (, ), Cavalry called Sin-gigun (, ), an army of Buddhist monks called Hangmagun (, ), Supporting troop made of slaves called Yeonhogun (,), and volunteered soldiers made of merchants and ordinary citizens called Jubugunhyeon (?, ?).

Combating troops were divided into Assassin/Spies called Sinbo (, ), Siege Engineers called Dotang (, ), Archers called Gyeonggung (, ), Builders called Jeongno (, ), Ballistic/Cannon gunners called Balhwa (, ), and special force called Teugibudae (?, ?). They were to trained and maintain/make weapons & fight with regular army.

During the second year of king Yejong of Goryeo's reign the byeomuban, consisting of 17,000 soldiers, attacked Jurchen and killed approximately 5,000 Jurchen troops, detained another 5,000 POWs and 350 Jurchen tribal clans and took over their territory by building nine fortresses at Hamju region.

Fortresses were called Northeastern Nine Fortresses, and they are in Hamju (, ), Yeongju (, ), Ungju (, ), Bokju (, ), Gilju (, ), Gongheomjin, (, ), Sungnyeong (, ), Tongtae (, ), and Jinyang (, ).

However internal trouble at the Goryeo court later forced the Goryeo army to leave Jurchen territory just after few years.


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  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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