"Scope of activities and employment for foreigners staying in Korea
Foreigners are granted rights to any activities granted by their visa, and may stay as long as their given period of stay. They are not, however, allowed to participate in any political activities except when specifically allowed by law.
Foreigners seeking employment during their stay in Korea must have a visa that allows it, and may only work in workplaces designated by local or district Immigration Office.
If they wish to change their workplace, permission must be received from the local Immigration Office prior to the change.
Visa statuses that allow employment are as follows.
Short term employment (C-4), Professorship (E-1), Foreign Language Instructor (E-2), Research (E-3), Technology Transfer (E-4), Professional Employment (E-5), Arts & Performances (E-6), Special Occupations (E-7), Employed Trainee (E-8), Non-professional Employment (E-9), Vessel Crew (E-10), Residency (F-2), Overseas Koreans (F-4), Permanent Residency (F-5), Working Holiday (H-1)
It is unlawful to hire, recommend, or arrange for hiring of foreigners who don't have appropriate visa status, and doing so is punishable offence under the Immigration Act"
While "political activities" is a vague term, there is evidence that engagement in protests has been discouraged in the past.
See here: http://www.animalrescuekorea.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-1091.html
And here: http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/viewtopic.php?t=194968
And here: http://www.koreaittimes.com/story/11409/very-polite-threat-airplane
Korea is a democracy, but a very young one. It has only been a democracy since the late 80s and in many ways the people here do not fully exercise their rights as citizens in a democracy. The government also doesn't always act like one. In fact, I'd argue it's heading more towards an oligarchy these days. Basically, Korea decided to sell its Seoul to any and all methods to build its economy. It worked like a charm. Now they have to find a way to sustain it and develop their young democratic state into a stable, working one. This means finding a way to be less dependent on the Chaebol corporations, without whom the current economy could not exist. I read on someone's blog once a description of Korea. They said that Korea has "veneer of modernity" and it's the most perfect way I've ever heard it put!
But anyway...back to the original topic: American politics!