Located to the west of the central region of the Korean Peninsula, Seoul, the capital city of the Republic of Korea, has been the center of the country in its long history from the prehistoric era to the present day.
Now in its 600th year of official history, Seoul is a city where Korea's traditional and modern cultures coexist. Geographically, it is an extraordinary example of good location, as mountains, rivers and urban spaces all combine to produce a picture-perfect city.
It was during this decade that Seoul led the country's swift economic growth. Described as being the "miracle of the Han River", South Korea achieved, in 30 to 40 years, the type of industrialization that took most advanced countries over a century.
Seoul came under the global spotlight by winning the bid to host the 1988 Summer Olympics. The city again stole the limelight worldwide in June 2002, when it jointly hosted the World Cup finals best characterized by the national squad's miraculous advancement to the semifinals and a nationwide cheering campaign of the "red devils". The tremendous red-clad crowds which gathered at Seoul Plaza to root for the South Korean team impressed the whole world with their pure enthusiasm and passion, which they radiated for the country they represented.