In Korea, the Bronze Age began around the 15th century BCE, with the everyday use of mumun pottery, ground stone tools, and wooden tools. During this period, only a few people possessed bronze tools, which served either as symbols of authority or as ritual instruments.

Agriculture continued to develop, including the beginning of rice farming, which led to the formation of larger settlements that resembled the rural villages of today. Notably, this era also saw the establishment of social classes, and the appearance of the first Korean nation of Gojoseon.

Gojoseon lasted until the Iron Age, flourishing mainly in the northwest of the Korean Peninsula, and challenging the Yan, Qin, and Han Dynasties of China. In fact, Gojoseon was powerful enough to defeat the Han in an early conflict of a war that lasted about a year. Nevertheless, the prolonged war eventually triggered internal strife that brought on the collapse of Gojoseon in 108 BCE. Around the same time that Gojoseon fell, smaller dominions like Buyeo, Goguryeo, Okjeo, Dongye, and Samhan were gaining power and territory in different regions of the Korean Peninsula.