Korea’s original name, Choson, Meant “land of the morning calm.” The country’s history has been shaped by frequent invasions from its neighbors. Korean history is divided into three main periods: the silla (668-935), Koryo (935-1392), and Yi (1392-1910) dynasties. The name “Korea” is derived from the middle dynasty of Koryo. Foreign influence-direct and indirect-occurred throughout these dynasties. All of Korea’s foreign overlords-Mongolian, Chinese, and Japanese instituted a closed-door policy in order to solidify their rule. This isolation earned Korea the name of the Hermit kingdom.
In 1910, Japan annexed Korea and enforced ruthless control, outlawing Korean culture and language. Despite resistance, several generations grew up more familiar with Japanese than with Korean customs. At the Yalta Conference at the end of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union jointly e...