People in Seoul, South Korea. Editorial credit: CJ Nattanai /

South Korea

South Korea’s democratic system features regular rotations of power and robust political pluralism, with the largest parties representing conservative and liberal views. Personal freedoms are generally respected, though the country struggles with minority rights and social integration. Legal bans on pro–North Korean activity have sometimes affected legitimate political expression, though since the start of inter-Korean rapprochement in early 2018, there has been greater pressure on those airing negative views of North Korea and inter-Korean engagement.

FIW Hong Kong hero photo

Freedom in the World — South Korea Country Report

South Korea is rated Free in Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.

A young woman wearing a protective mask looks at her smartphone while passing by a grafitti representing two big watching eyes in Berlin, Germany on April 1, 2020. Illustrative Editorial (Photo by Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Freedom on the Net— South Korea Country Report

South Korea is rated Partly Free in Freedom on the Net, Freedom House's comprehensive study of internet freedom around the globe.