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360 VR looking north from a viewing platform on Namsan mountain (남산) in central Seoul (서울), South Korea (대한민국).
Seoul is one of the largest cities in the world, with a population of over 10 million.
Seoul, officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest city of Republic of Korea. With a population of over 10 million, it is one of the world’s largest cities. The Seoul National Capital Area, which includes the Incheon metropolis and most of Gyeonggi province, has 24.5 million inhabitants, and is the world’s second largest metropolitan area. Almost half of South Korea’s population live in the Seoul National Capital Area, and nearly a quarter in Seoul itself, making it the country’s foremost economic, political, and cultural center.
Seoul is located on the Han River in the center of the Korean Peninsula, and historically was settled in 18 B.C. when Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, established its capital in what is now south-east Seoul. The city then became the capital of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty and the Korean Empire. As the center of Korean history over the past millennia, the Seoul National Capital Area is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeokgung, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty.
Seoul’s influence in business, international trade, politics, technology, education and entertainment all contribute to its role as a prominent global city. It is considered to be an Alpha World City, ranking 9th in the 2008 Global Cities Index. Seoul is the iconic city of the Miracle on the Han River and hosted landmark international events such as the 1988 Summer Olympics and the 2002 FIFA World Cup and will be the host city of the November 2010 G-20 Summit. It is one of the world’s top ten financial and commercial centers, home to some of the world’s largest conglomerates such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai-Kia. Seoul was Asia’s most expensive city to live in 2007, and the third most expensive city worldwide. In 2008, Seoul was named the world’s sixth most economically powerful city by Forbes.com, ahead of Paris and Los Angeles.
Seoul is the 2010 World Design Capital and has one of the world’s most technologically advanced infrastructures. Ranked first on the Digital Opportunity Index, its Digital Media City is the world’s first complex for high-tech technologies and a test-bed for futuristic IT and multimedia applications. Seoul is the world’s first city to feature DMB, a digital mobile TV technology and WiBro, a wireless high-speed mobile internet service, as well as the world’s fastest, most penetrated 100Mbps fibre-optic broadband network, which is being upgraded to 1Gbps by 2012. Seoul Station houses the 350 km/h KTX bullet train and the Seoul Subway is the third largest in the world, with over 2 billion passengers every year. Seoul is connected via AREX to Incheon International Airport, which has been rated as the world’s best airport since 2005.