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2016 The Lotte World Tower opens: a 556m skyscraper with 123 floors. The tower could only be constructed if a runway at Incheon Airport was moved by 3 degrees.

2015 In the country with the world's fastest internet connections, a project is completed offering free Wi-Fi access at 10,430 parks, streets and other public places. Just remember to look up from your phone occasionally...

2013 The rebuilt national treasure Namdaemun (“Great South Gate”), reopens after being destroyed by fire in 2008.

2012 The world record-breaking song “Gangnam Style” is released. K-Pop and Korean culture become a leading trend for the young Generation around the world.

2010 Seoul named World Design Capital.

2002 FIFA World Cup jointly hosted with Japan. To everyone's surprise, South Korea reached the semi-finals, beating Spain, Italy and Portugal before losing to Germany.

1995 Chong-myo Palace is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ch’angdŏk Palace follows in 1997.

1990 Seoul reaches 10 million inhabitants. The city is noted for its population density, which is almost twice that of New York and eight times greater than Rome.

1988 Summer Olympic Games hosted in Seoul. Table tennis is included for the first time, with China and South Korea both winning two titles.

1980s Project starts to de-pollute the Han River with the construction of large-scale sewage treatment facilities.

1979 President, military general and dictator Park Chung-hee is assassinated by a member of his bodyguard.

1970s The area of south of the Han River is extensively developed. Gangnam, as the area is known, develops a distinctive style.

1960 Population reaches 2.5 million, up from 900,000 at the end of World War II.

1953 De facto end of the Korean War, although the two Koreas are still officially (and sometimes in reality) in conflict.

1952 After witnessing a military martial arts demonstration, President Syngman Rhee urges that the different martial arts styles merge into a national martial art. Taekwondo is born.

1950 Seoul changes hands between North Korean, Chinese and United Nations forces. The capital moves temporarily to Busan.

1950 Start of the Korean War. Seoul suffers tremendous damage during the fighting.

1945 End of Japanese Imperial Period in Korea. The colonial Governor-General Jirō Minami had banned Korean language, literature and culture, which was to be replaced with Japanese equivalents. From 1939, Koreans had required to use Japanese names under the Sōshi-kaimei policy.

1938 Samsung Sanghoe is founded as a company trading vegetables and noodles.

1910 Japanese annexation of Korea, which lasts until 1945. The name of the Seoul area is changed to Kyŏngsŏng (Gyeongseong).

1876 Opening of Korea to diplomatic contacts with the West, after many years as a hermit kingdom.

1394 Yi Seong-gye chooses Seoul to be the capital of his new kingdom and the city rapidly grows to 100,000 residents.

1200s Mongolian forces invade Koryŏ and bring with them the recipe of Arak, which later develops into Soju – Korea's favourite booze.

1068 King Munjong of Koryŏ builds a summer palace on the site of the modern city and a fairly large settlement grows around it.

18BC Seoul is chosen to be the capital of the Baekje Kingdom.
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