I am a Korean international student, studying at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
I recently flew back to Korea to spend at least a portion of my summer break here, taking care of some things.
I thought it would be a good idea to walk about Seoul and take some photographs.
I found that Korean folks tend to be a lot more paranoid about people take photographs in public. I was confronted and asked to delete photographs several times. In majority of European authorities and States in America, photographers do not have to comply with requests to delete photographs of people so long as the subject was well within public sight. In Korea, however, people have the inherent right to not be photographed when asked. Furthermore, culturally (and legally!) they can ask a photographer to delete a photo of themselves.
What is interesting, however, is that the reverse applies. If somebody poses for an image, the photographer has the right to do whatever with the image. Posing is the equivalent of ‘express permission’. Thus, the photographer can use it for publishing or even commercial purposes.
There is a catch to above rule, though. It is expected that the photographer produces the reasonable (or expected) representation of the subject. If the subject feels that it does not display them in the appropriate light, they can take it to the court and ask for compensation, because public humiliation can be a subject in civic lawsuit in Korea.