City (pop., 2003 est.: 10,280,503), capital of South Korea since 1948, with the administrative status of a province. Located on the Han River near the centre of the Korean peninsula, Seoul was the capital of the Choson dynasty (1394–1910) and the centre of Japanese rule of Korea (1910–45). During the Korean War it was the capital of the U.S. military government and suffered extensive damage; it has been largely rebuilt since 1953. In 1988 it was the site of the Summer Olympic Games. The commercial, cultural, and industrial heart of South Korea, it is a centre of higher education, with several universities, including Seoul National University (1946).