Seoul has been the capital of Korea for about 600 years since the time of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Seoul was referred to as "Han Yang" during the Joseon Dynasty, but after the liberation from Japan in 1945, the newly founded Republic of Korea officially changed its capital city's name to Seoul. Seoul has developed into a bustling metropolis, acting as the hub for political, economic,social and cultural matters. The Hangang River runs through the heart of the city. The river divides the city in two; the northern part of the city is a focal point for culture and history, while the southern part is well known for its business district.
Seoul has hosted many international events including: 1986 Asian Games, 1988 Olympic Games and 2002 Korea/Japan FIFA World Cup.