South Korea may have a better reputation than North Korea, though that's not saying much, but it's no heaven of free speech either. Granted, it's not necessarily because of evil intents, it's more of the "won't somebody think of the children" variety.
Up until very recently, large sites in South Korea had to ask for real names
and identity validation before letting their users "comment" or do much of anything really.
This law affected YouTube also, which prompted Google to disable video uploads from the country on the site, rather than implement a system that was complicated and easily bypassed. It may seem like a harsh move, but these types of decisions are sometimes needed.
What's more, the ban on upload was only for the local version of the site, it wasn't enforced by location or anything, so users could simply switch to the international version of the site and upload at ease.
That's no longer necessary though, as YouTube has now re-enabled uploads for South Korea, following the abolition of the law that prompted the move in the first place.
"We are happy to announce that we have enabled comments and video uploads on the desktop for YouTube users who choose Korea as their preferred country from today. YouTube users in Korea who choose Korea as their preferred country will now be able to write comments and upload videos," Google said
"We hope that more uploading and commenting means an even bigger YouTube community in Korea. We look forward to hearing more from you," it added.
The move is obviously a good one. South Koreans are very tech-friendly and the local web market is a big one. Granted, it's been hard for outsiders to penetrate, Google Search is much less popular than local search engines for example.
The reason this happens is the same as in other countries like this, Russia, Japan, China - a mixture of the government favoring local sites, the public favoring local sites and a difficulty for foreign sites to understand the local culture and idiosyncrasies.