Why Is Korea Called the Hermit Kingdom?

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Strict isolationist policies in Korea have earned it the nickname of the Hermit Kingdom. Those policies were first implemented when the Joseon Dynasty of Korea (1392 A.D. - 1897 A.D.), also known as the Choson Dynasty, was invaded on numerous occasions during the 16th and 17th centuries.

In 1592 A.D., Joseon Korea was invaded by Japan under Oda Nobunaga. Western colonial powers attempting to force trade during the 1600s forced Korea to cut all ties with the outside world except for China. In 1895, Japanese agents assassinated Empress Myeongseong and occupied Korea for 40 years. A civil war began after freedom from Japan. North Korea would have very little initial contact with outside nations other than communist states. South Korea was heavily involved with Western countries, especially the United States. Although it is called the Hermit Kingdom in the U.S., as of 2014, North Korea interacts with many more states that it did. Thousands of its citizens are sent to work in countries across the globe, while the children of the North Korean elites receive most of their later educations abroad.