Seoul

Seoul

Seoul,[b] officially Seoul Special City, is the capital of the Republic of Korea (ROK), commonly known as South Korea, and the country's most extensive urban center. The broader Seoul Capital Area, encompassing Gyeonggi province and Incheon metropolitan city, emerged as the world's fourth largest metropolitan economy in 2014, trailing only Tokyo, New York City, and Los Angeles, hosting more than half of South Korea's population. Although Seoul's population peaked at slightly over 10 million, it has gradually decreased since 2014, standing at approximately 9.97 million residents as of 2020. Seoul is the seat of the South Korean government. Seoul's history traces back to 18 BC when it was founded by the people of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. During the Joseon dynasty, Seoul was officially designated as the capital, surrounded by the Fortress Wall of Seoul. In the early 20th century, Seoul was occupied by the Japanese Empire, temporarily renamed "Gyeongseong." The Korean War brought fierce battles, with Seoul changing hands four times and leaving the city mostly in ruins. Nevertheless, the city has since undergone significant reconstruction and rapid urbanization.