Pacific Rim Sourcebook
Seoul, the capital of United Korea, is a huge metropolis where modern skyscrapers, high-tech subways and pop culture meet Buddhist temples, palaces and street markets. Notable attractions include futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a convention hall with curving architecture and a rooftop park; Gyeongbokgung Palace, which once had more than 7,000 rooms; and Jogyesa Temple, site of ancient locust and pine trees.
Seoul is on the western side of the peninsula, near the 38th Parallel. This put it at the center of the two Korean Wars, but it's been focal point for strife its entire history.
It was a humble village until I SongGye, the founder of Rissi-Chonson, built his capital city here. The first invasion was by the 16th-century Japanese warlord, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who burnt the city down. During the 19th-century, until 1910, Korea was center to the struggle between the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Czarist Russia, and Imperial Japan. And Seoul was the center of that maelstorm, but the Yangban just tried to make profit out of the situation. In 1910, Korea became a colony of Japan, and the Governor's House was built in Seoul. In 1945, after the Japanese surrrender, Korea became the center of the Communist Chinese/Soviet/US battle, and Seoul was burned down twice during the First Korean War. But they rebuilt it again.
Afterwards, as the capital of Hanguk, it made a tremendous leap into the corporate consciousness. Of course, it got trashed right away during the Second War, and General I based his command in Busan. Being within 100 km of the former Hanguk/Chonson border made it the prime target of every Choson Soldier. Now they are rebuilding-again. Some blocks are untouched (but sooty) buildings from before the war, while the next block may be flattened rubble, or one of the brand-new towers.
As the largest city by far in Korea, as the capital, Seoul is now the center of struggle between old and new powers, both on the surface and underground. Choson (and other) terrorists take advantage of the lack of reconstruction planning, and strike from various ruins. The police cannot find terrorist in the confusion, and the people are unsettled. This struggle is not only a struggle for power, but one for culture as well. Korea hasn't really changed in the last 500 years; even the Communist North still Yangban rule. Koreans are getting frustrated at the difference between their old, restrictive system, and the perceived freedoms of others. The Cyberpunk movement is being felt by the disaffected, and talented but lower-caste, youth. Caution is advised; if you are seen with the Yangbans, you may be attacked later by C'punks. If you are seen with 'punks, you might be arrested for "aiding anti-state elements."
Being a city of 14 milion, Seoul has all the expected transportation problems. The entire traffic web of Korea center on Seoul. Ironically, the recent destruction has given the civil engineers ample room to make improvements, and the Korean traffic system is one of the fastest and safest in the world, 2nd to Tokyo.
Korean subways are incredibly safe. The security has been strengthened since the Sungan assassination. There had been violence before, but that was the case that got measures installed (to protect the corps and politicians; they don't care so much about you or I, or the Korean punk).
Every train is guarded by two or more well-armed cops, and the stations have a squad on hand at all times. If you make trouble in the subways, the cops will take any means necessary to keep the public peace. "Trouble" can be awfully loosely defined, though. If you are nervous around police, DON'T take the trains.
The entire Korean highway system is centered on Seoul. It's an old habit; 400 years ago, they said "Even a footpath between rice fields points to Seoul." In the outlying areas, especially in the North, roads may still be unpassable. Also, sometimes you'll find roads that are incredibly straight over several klicks. These were designed as emergency runaways during the Haguk/Choson Cold War.