Seoul has been the capital of South Korea since 1948. Located on the Han River near the center of the Korean Peninsula, Seoul was the capital of Choson Dynasty (1394-1910) and the center of Japanese rule of Korea (1910-1945). It also served as the headquarters of the U.S. Military Government during the Korean War.
Today, Seoul is the economic, commercial, cultural, and educational hub of South Korea. It is also one of the world's most densely populated cities with a population of over 25,000,000. Nearly half of all South Koreans live in or around Seoul. In 1988, it hosted the Summer Olympics.